London City Lionesses today confirmed that Lisa Fallon is to become the club’s new First Team Head Coach. Lisa will be joined by Melissa Phillips who takes the role of Assistant Coach. It’s exciting news and I am over the moon to see more women being given the opportunity in one of the top leagues in the women’s football pyramid.
Lisa is a UEFA Pro Licence holder and a graduate of the League Managers Association’s Diploma in Football Management. Formerly of Chelsea, Lisa was part of their women’s team’s technical coaching staff. Before Lisa joined Chelsea she was an integral part of the senior coaching set-up at Cork City FC, where she helped the men’s first-team to win the Irish Premier Division and FAI Cup. Lisa also worked for the Northern Ireland men’s national team and was integral to Dublin’s 2018 All-Ireland winning Gaelic football team.
Lisa said: “This is a seminal moment in my career and an extremely proud day for me and everyone who has helped me through my career to-date. I would like to thank Diane and the Board for giving me this opportunity. I was drawn to the ambition of the club and Board – together I am sure that we will take this club forward. The squad is exciting with lots of potential and we are all looking forward to getting back out on the grass and back to training. Finally, and most importantly, I would like to talk directly to the supporters – we’ll be a hard-working, attacking team that will continue to make you proud.”
Chairwoman Diane Culligan said: “Following an extremely thorough search for our new Head Coach it was obvious to us that Lisa was the outstanding choice – we are absolutely thrilled that she is joining us. Lisa has an excellent pedigree in football, not only in the women’s game but the men’s too and I consider the Lionesses very fortunate to have someone with her knowledge, experience and integrity leading us. We all have high hopes for a wonderful season ahead, when it returns.”
Melissa Phillips makes the move from the University of Pennsylvania coaching programme in the US. At Penn, Melissa was the Women’s Team Assistant Coach – a role she held for the last five years. This same period was one of Penn’s most successful in their history, with Phillips’ young team winning plaudits for their high-scoring, defensively resolute performances. This culminated in them being crowned the 2018 Ivy League Champions. Before Penn, Melissa was Assistant Women’s Coach at the University of San Francisco and Head Women’s Coach at California State University Bakersfield. Melissa holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) A Senior Licence.
Melissa said: “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be joining the London City Lionesses. I watched their progress from afar last season and can see that the team is a very talented one. The vision, values and culture of the club are compelling to me. The club’s outlook, coupled with a sustained growth in the women’s game in the UK over several years now, is what drew me across the pond! I am looking forward to supporting Lisa and the Lionesses squad in fulfilling our ambitions.”
Diane said: “The club is delighted that Melissa has agreed to join us. She is one of the most highly regarded young female coaches in America, so this is a real coup for us. This is a very exciting point in the Lionesses’ story. Melissa will bring a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to her role in supporting Lisa.”
John Bayer has left the Lionesses following the conclusion of his interim role as First Team Head Coach. He said: “As my interim role as caretaker manager has come to its natural conclusion, I would like to wish the London City Lionesses every success in the future. I will be following the club’s fortunes with great interest and specifically would like to place on record my support for the new coaching team – who I hope have a long and successful career with the club.”
Diane said: “First and foremost, John is a gentleman and consummate professional who will always be welcomed back warmly at our club. John has been an excellent caretaker manager and someone that I would always seek counsel from, such is his huge experience in the game. On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to wish John well for the future and look forward to seeing him at our games at Prince’s Park next season.”