As Vera Pauw signs up for another two-year campaign with the Republic of Ireland women's team, she spoke eloquently on the opportunities for equal pay and of the development of the squad.
The issue continues to be a discursive point for the women's game, and Pauw believes that the team need to be given the opportunity to train and compete at the 'elite' level before pay raises occur.
Vera Pauw on equal pay
“The problem is, we do not yet bring in money, and equal pay comes when there is a possibility [for] equal pay," Pauw said.
"It is a starting point that you really want to achieve as quickly as possible. What we need is equal approach of opportunity. That is different to being equal.
“The clubs train only two times a week - [there] are players who need to find their own training environment.
“There are all other issues that are not equal with the men. So let’s focus first on getting equal opportunities for training, for development - because that is something that’s achievable and that is not expensive. That is something of will and enthusiasm, and it’s then my task to make clear what would be the best steps to achieve that very quickly, and it is achievable very quickly.
“If that is the case and everybody is training at elite level — that means 5-6 sessions plus a game a week, then automatically sponsors will step in and there will be money. That is my experience in other countries. You first need to create equal opportunity and perform to equal standards, then the money will come in. It happened in the Netherlands, it happened in South Africa, everywhere I’ve worked, even now in Scotland.
“So yes, we want it as quickly as possible, but we need to take responsibility for getting equal opportunity, and the players need to meet those standards also, and they will. They’re really eager and they want to make that step.”