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13th Jul 2023

“She’s quite blunt, straight to the point” – Stephanie Zambra speaks about working under Ireland manager Vera Pauw

Robert Redmond

Brought to you by William Hill.

“She’s quite blunt, straight to the point.”

On the latest episode of House of Football, Stephanie Zambra spoke about her experience of working under the Republic of Ireland women’s team manager Vera Pauw.

Pauw is at the centre of allegations from anonymous players at a US club she coached, who claim the Dutch coach ‘body-shamed’ them and created a ‘culture of fear’. The Ireland manager has strongly denied all allegations.

Zambra, who has earned 58 caps for the Girls in Green, played for Ireland under Pauw last year and detailed her own experience of working with the coach.

Shamrock Rovers striker Zambra said that Pauw can be ‘blunt’ when speaking to players, but that she believes that this is merely the coach’s nature, and she cannot speak about the experience others have had under the Dutch manager.

“I’ve played under Vera, but probably have never really been in favour with her,” she said on House of Football.

“So, I probably have more than anybody the right to kind of say, ‘Oh, I don’t like her. She’s brutal’.

“But for me like and I think she said it herself like, she’s Dutch, very blunt, very straight to the point.

“There have been times when she’s had conversations with me and I’m walking out (after it), and I’m kind of going, ‘Did she just say that to me?’

“But as a footballer and as a professional, I’ve dealt with different coaches.

“I kind of used to be kind of shaking my head,” Zambra continued.

“I remember ringing (Stephanie’s husband) Dean and being like, ‘You never know what she said to me’. And he’d be like, ‘Oh, well, it’s just the way it goes, you know?

“I’ve seen her do things and say things that I probably wouldn’t agree with in terms of how she speaks to players. But I think it’s just her manner.

“It’s who she is as a coach and looks, obviously, people have had bad experiences with her and I don’t know the full insight of what’s happened in America or who has been making these claims.

“But for me and my experience with her, I would just say it’s just the person she is. She’s quite blunt, straight to the point.”

Zambra has earned 58 caps for the Girls in Green, but represented her country just once under Pauw and was not included in the squad for the upcoming Women’s World Cup.

The 2014 Puskas Award runner-up feels that the recent reports detailing the allegations have partly overshadowed the Ireland team ahead of their first appearance at the Women’s World Cup.

“This should be about the girls who have got us to World Cup,” Zambra said.

“We’ve been waiting for this a very long time, so I think for it to be overshadowed by something that was already out in December and then coming back in again and questions to be around it around, before our send-off game, I think was wrong.

“The Irish media, (however) they have to do their job in terms of investigating what has been said and stuff like that.”


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