Lisa Fallon: 'I am really enjoying being out on the grass working with the players every day'

Wed, May 26 2021
Galway United Head Coach Lisa Fallon

Galway United Head Coach Lisa Fallon Credit: Gerry Shanahan (ETPhotos)

Current Galway United Head Coach Lisa Fallon has enjoyed a multitude of coaching positions since injury curtailed her playing career prematurely, but an early interest in coaching was always inevitably going to lead to a UEFA Pro Licence and she explained to extratime.com.

Counting Gillingham and Southampton amongst the clubs she played for, Fallon has come full circle in a coaching capacity after taking on diverse opportunities in between. “I had started coaching before I finished playing, so it was always something that appealed to me. The more I do it, the more I enjoy it. It really is something I have a great passion for and feel my previous roles have been invaluable, in terms of my overall development as a coach.”

Those experiences include working at Cork City, in broadcasting, being involved with Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland coaching team and as one of Chelsea women's technical staff. However, outside of football, Fallon was also a part of Jim Gavin's Dublin Senior GAA squad's backroom team.

“I don't really think there was a huge difference in how they view the game because in every environment I've been in, the players were high performers and extremely committed to the cause and goals of the team,” said Fallon on her work in Gaelic games. 

“They train very hard and want to be coached in a way that helps them to improve and reach their potential. In those types of environments, there is a lot of player ownership in terms of their own preparation and performance, and it's a privilege to work with players like that.

"Every group has its own culture though, and whilst there is a lot of common ground, each environment has its own nuances unique to that particular group.

"The training week looks quite different for players who work during the day and train in the evening, compared to players who are full-time professionals, but as regards commitment, work ethic etc … How they apply themselves is very similar.”

One of Fallon's most exciting challenges was taking up the London City Lionesses managerial position at the end of May 2020. With just five months in charge and five games under her belt, the Dubliner decided to leave due to COVID-19 travel restrictions affecting visiting family in Ireland.

“I loved my time in England. I lived there for eight years - going over there to study and play football when I was 17 and then came back home when I was 25, in 2001. Following that, I commuted over and back whilst I was studying the LMA Diploma in Football Management.

"Then more recently, my couple of years at Chelsea and London City Lionesses were also very enjoyable, so it was unfortunate that the pandemic caused so much upheaval. It was disappointing not to be able to finish what I had started, but my family had to take priority in such an unprecedented situation.

"Football's a great industry and I've a lot of really good friends and contacts in England. I do have that sense of unfinished business, so a return is certainly not something I would rule out.

"For the moment though, I'm really focused on Galway United and building the team with John Caulfield. It's a really exciting project that the club is building, so my focus is totally on that at present.”

The opportunity to become Head Coach under Caulfield, who Fallon also teamed up with at Cork City, was one too good to turn down.

“I'm really enjoying being out on the grass working with the players every day. They're a great group and we work hard, so it's going well. I've worked with John before, albeit in a different capacity, but I really love coaching and it's great to be in this Head Coach role.

"I also love the League of Ireland and this is a tough division, with hard games every week and that's what you want. They're the challenges I wanted and that's why I felt this role would really suit me. After John contacted me about it last year, I felt it was time to take on a role like this and the responsibility that brings.

"The club is fantastic too. I believe in the vision they have and want to do all I can to help them and John to realise it. The game is very different at the moment without supporters, but it will be brilliant when we can have them back in the grounds … I'm really looking forward to that.”

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