An investigation by The University Times has revealed that there are currently gross inequalities in Trinity’s resourcing of the women’s soccer team when compared to the men’s team.
Although both the women’s and men’s DU Football AFC teams are allocated the same budget by the Trinity Sports Union, this budget is currently not agreed upon. Therefore, students on the team are currently having to cover some of the costs themselves. This has meant that the team has had to forfeit certain matches as the budget can’t stretch to cover the costs of transport to and from these games.
A member of the team said: “It’s frustrating to me that the infrastructure of this club does not let our team reach its full potential.” Last year, the women’s team was prevented from being promoted to the Premier League because of the number of matches they forfeited.
Despite 100 women turning up to their trials in Freshers’ Week this year, they felt they could only take on one team due to the lack of coaches and other necessary resources.
The women’s team does not have a manager at present. Instead, it is up to the team’s captain to organise all of their games. This includes contacting referees, registering players and organising matches. This is a job that the Trinity Sports Union should support a club in finding. The men’s team, for example, has a manager. The team’s captain told The University Times of the stress that this causes on top of being a full time student.
Whilst the men’s team currently has three coaches, the women’s team has none. The team feels that the lack of a coach “makes us look unprofessional and disorganised whilst also affecting [our] game”.
The women’s team contacted the Trinity Sports Union to ask for a coach over a month ago. In an email seen by The University Times, Trinity Sports Union told the women’s team that they were making their way through a “backlog of enquiries”. There is a discernible lack of urgency with this issue that is so critical to the performance of the women’s team.
In a statement to The University Times, the Trinity Sports Union said that they had “sent communications to the national governing body of soccer in Ireland (FAI) to assist with finding a coach for the club”.
The team also feel that they look less professional than other women’s teams as they have been using the same kit for the past five years. Trinity will only provide the shirts for the women’s team. This means that the team has to source the rest of the kit on their own, resulting in a team turning up to matches wearing an array of different colours and kit.
Meanwhile the men’s team revealed earlier this month that they managed to secure new sponsors, resulting in a whole new kit. The women’s team are currently without sponsors.
When contacted by The University Times, Trinity Sports Union stated that they would support teams that wished to reach out for sponsorships.
The women’s team is enjoying some successes despite all of these setbacks: they were the champions of the WEFT tournament in Paris last year, a tournament that they self-funded to enter and were the only team competing without a coach. They also recently beat DCU 4-1. The women’s DCU team are currently competing in the league above them, the Premier League.
Overall the women’s team feel that there is a distinct lack of urgency when it comes to addressing issues and the resourcing for their club. Trinity Sport has recently been pushing the theme of inclusivity in sport. On their homepage a banner reads, “Trinity Sport Leads the Way in Inclusion and Accessibility”. DU Football AFC women do not currently share this sentiment. As the team captain said: “We are really not asking for much, we just want a coach and the ability to play the matches we need to play.”