After a four-year absence from the Ireland national team, Tyler Toland is on the brink of making a comeback to the squad under interim manager Eileen Gleeson. Toland, who made her senior international debut at the age of 16 in 2017, was sidelined during Vera Pauw’s tenure due to a publicized falling-out between the two.
Toland’s last appearance for Ireland was in the Euro qualifying victory against Montenegro in September 2019, during Tom O’Connor’s interim leadership, shortly after Pauw took over from Colin Bell. However, her return to the green jersey appears likely, with her impressive performances for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship this season catching the eye.
The bitter rift between Pauw and Toland became evident during the Euro qualifying campaign, with allegations of disrespectful comments directed at the young player. Tyler’s father, former Finn Harps player Maurice Toland, claimed Pauw had made inappropriate comments about his daughter’s legs, an accusation that Pauw denied.
Initially, Pauw cited Tyler’s lack of playing time with Manchester City and Celtic as the reason for her absence. As tensions escalated, Pauw insisted she was waiting for Tyler to reach out, stating, “Tyler didn’t call me, so I don’t know if she wants to play. If she calls me, she will be on the list if she’s better than others.”
By late 2022, with World Cup qualification secured and Tyler still excluded, Pauw continued to attribute her absence to club form. Following stints with Celtic and Levante, Tyler joined Blackburn in the second-tier league this summer. Now, with Vera Pauw’s departure, the path seems clear for Tyler Toland’s return to the Ireland setup for the upcoming Nations League matches against Northern Ireland and Hungary later this month.