All Whites Assistant Coach Joins the Phoenix Academy

Rory Fallon, who famously scored the goal that sent the All Whites to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is returning to Wellington to help foster the next generation of New Zealand footballers.

Fallon has been appointed as the Wellington Phoenix academy’s head of youth development and will also coach the academy’s under-19 men.

The former striker has worked in academies in the UK at Plymouth Argyle FC and Swansea City AFC since retiring from playing in November 2017.

He has also worked alongside All Whites coach Danny Hay and will continue his role as one of Hay’s assistants.

Fallon can’t wait to return to New Zealand, having left the country as a 16-year-old in 1999 to pursue a footballing career in England.

“I’ve been away for so long. It’ll be nice to get back home,” Fallon said.

“I’ve only seen my mum and dad a handful of times over those 22 years. It’ll be nice to be able to drive or fly to them and they’re an hour away, not 24 hours away.

“I love Wellington. As soon as that Bahrain game (Intercontinental World Cup qualifier in 2009) happened every time I go there my heart fills up. It holds a special place in my heart.”

And Fallon has a “real passion” for youth development.

“I feel like I can give so much to these young players; the experiences, the stories and the things I’ve gone through.

“I feel like I can really help them kick on to another level.

“I have the chance to help these young players achieve what I have and even better and I get a buzz out of that.”

Rory Fallon will start his new role early next year, when Ruben Parker will also join the academy as head of goalkeeping.

Parker is the goalkeeper coach for the New Zealand U17 men’s team and will continue in that role with New Zealand Football.

“It’s a great step for me in my career and at the right time,” Parker said.

“The biggest excitement for me is that I will be working with the country’s top goalkeepers in their respective age-groups on a day to day basis.

“I’d only really been able to see them two to three times a year, even less with Covid recently, at the national camps.

“Now I’ll be able to help them out day-in, day-out, be there for their games and make the training more specific for their needs each week.”

Phoenix academy technical director Paul Temple says the appointments show the strong relationship between the Phoenix and New Zealand Football and he is delighted Fallon and Parker will be joining his team.

“Over the past few years, the academy’s growth has been reflected with the quality of people working in the organisation.  We want to be setting the standard for youth development so bringing in the best people is a critical part of it,” Temple said.

“Rory has already started his coaching journey after a great career but wants to keep learning and improving, that’s what impressed me most about him in our discussions, his appetite for self-improvement and passion for helping young players.

“He’s a great fit for us and without question his experience as a professional player, All White and current national team coach will be fantastic for our young players.

“Likewise with Ruben who has established a very strong reputation nationally as a goalkeeping coach, his work with keepers across the country and with the national age group teams has been class.

“I’ve experienced first-hand the work he does, and I’m delighted he has agreed to move to Wellington and join our team”.

Temple also says there is now a visible pathway for staff at the club following Weijie Lim’s appointment as the Phoenix first team’s head of sports science.

2022 Phoenix academy staff

Academy technical director: Paul Temple
Head of performance: Steve Coleman
Head of youth development: Rory Fallon
Head of goalkeeping: Ruben Parker
Head of sports science: Nik Boyce
Head of physiotherapy: Jono Pledger
Head of pre-academy: Jesse Rawlings
Communications & operations: Eilish Graves

2022 Phoenix academy coaches

Reserve team coach: (U21) Chris Greenacre
Youth team coach: (U19) Rory Fallon
Youth team coach: (U18) Jesse Rawlings
Academy coach: (U16) Ryan Edwards
Academy coach: (U16 Girls) Katie Barrott
Academy coach: (U14) Chris Sperring