Republic of Ireland international Amber Barrett spoke about the issues women’s football faces in this country on Thursday’s Off The Ball.
The Donegal native is a professional footballer in Germany for FC Köln, however the women’s game in Ireland remains amateur.
The 23-year-old who recently played for Peamount United felt that Ireland could never truly compete with the likes of Germany without professionalism.
“Well, I think the main difference between football in Ireland and Germany is that it’s professional here. That makes a huge difference to any country and any club.
“I’m very lucky that I moved to Cologne in the summer and I’ve been exposed now to eight or nine training sessions a week in comparison to two - max three - in Ireland. If you’re looking at that you’ve nine sessions compared to three.
“There is only ever going to be one outcome. Katie Taylor’s never going to win any of her fights if she’s only training three times a week,” Barrett commented.
While Barrett feels that the Irish league has improved a lot in recent years, it is still a long way off from the standard of the German league.
“German players, a lot of them, are more exposed to that professional environment.
“I think the Irish players are growing all the time and there’s definitely loads of opportunities for Irish players to go away.
“In terms of the Irish league in comparison to the German league - I think the size and magnitude obviously financially makes it very difficult to compete.
“But that’s something that Irish football is going to have to do because that will also help bridge the gap at international level.
“It’ll make it a lot easier for our teams to qualify and compete against the best teams when the structure is there underneath them to support them,” Barrett explained.