Meet the performance analyst helping Michael O'Neill plot a successful Euro 2016 for Northern Ireland

Lisa Fallon spoke to Cliona Foley on the Off The Bench podcast ahead of the tournament

Lisa Fallon

Lisa Fallon ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

When Northern Ireland begin their Euro 2016 campaign tomorrow evening against Poland, you can rest assured that every detail about their opponents has been teased out and analysed.

That task is Lisa Fallon's. The Dubliner has worked as a performance analyst with North manager Michael O'Neill as far back as his days in charge of Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland a few short years ago, before he brought her on board as an integral part of his international backroom team.

Indeed, the manager had appeared on her radar when she was a budding sports reporter after winning a TV competition as a child, although he wasn't aware of the fact until much later. That's a story which she shared with Cliona Foley on Newstalk's Off The Bench podcast before Euro 2016.

 

"I didn't actually meet him that day but I was 12 and I did a match report on the Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland in the qualifiers in October '89 and Ireland won the game 3-0," said Fallon, who also works as a performance analyst at club level with Cork City.

"I had to do my little radio report for 2FM at the time. I did my report but I found it years later a couple of years ago and I was reading it back - I had it all written out on foolscap pages - and Michael O'Neill was the only Northern Ireland player I said that day had played well."

Years later when she met him as she joined his staff, she told O'Neill the story.

"It's a funny one how things move in cycles. It was an incredible coincidence," she laughs.

Listen to the full interview with Fallon right here on the podcast player or on iTunes: