Player Profile

Rory Fallon

Nationality :New Zealand
Date Of Birth :20/03/1982
Games Played :29
Goals :6
Position :Forward

Rory Michael Fallon (born 20 March 1982) is a New Zealand footballer who is currently unattached, having played most recently for Truro City. He has previously played for Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town, Swindon Town, Yeovil Town, Swansea City, Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town, Yeovil Town, Aberdeen, St Johnstone, Bristol Rovers F.C. and Scunthorpe United. After originally representing England at youth level, he has been capped by New Zealand at international level and scored the goal that took them to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was born and raised in Gisborne. His father Kevin managed New Zealand over a four-year period in the 1980s

Club career

Born in Gisborne, Fallon started his career at Barnsley, becoming a professional in 1999 after moving up through their trainee programme. He had just begun to cement his place in the first-team when he suffered a stress fracture of his foot, which saw him struggle to regain his place.

Fallon was signed for an undisclosed fee by Swindon Town in November 2003 after a number of impressive performances against them with Barnsley, which caught the eye of manager Andy King. After breaking into the team he scored a number of important goals in the 2003–04 campaign; including an overhead kick from the edge of the box to secure a point against Bristol City.

Despite the departure of Tommy Mooney, Fallon found himself regularly on the bench in the 2004–05 season. He was loaned out to Yeovil Town to increase his confidence and he scored on his debut against Scunthorpe United. He failed to score in the remainder of the season, but a red card for kicking Huddersfield Town defender David Mirfin in the face meant he missed the opening two games of the following season. After Sam Parkin was sold in summer 2005, Fallon was given greater opportunities to play at Swindon, scoring on his return to action against Nottingham Forest.

He signed for League One team Swansea City in January 2006 for a fee believed to be £300,000, the second highest fee ever paid by the Welsh club. A productive year followed for the striker, scoring 13 goals in all competitions from 48 appearances. This prompted interest from Championship side Plymouth Argyle and they paid £300,000 for Fallon on 19 January 2007.

Fallon had only started a handful of games for Plymouth Argyle, and had struggled to get into the team. He went without a competitive goal at Home Park until 19 January 2008, exactly one-year after he signed for the club, when he scored a second half equaliser against Southampton. It was only his fourth goal for the Pilgrims. The 2007–2008 campaign saw Fallon continue to be a regular bench warmer, but he continued with his optimistic attitude that he can become a first team regular, and even rejected a £250,000 move to League One side Southend United, in January 2008.

On 29 September 2009, Fallon scored the winning goal for Plymouth against Peterborough United earning the Pilgrims their first win of the season after seven straight defeats, lifting them off the bottom of the table. Fallon then scored the opening goal in Argyle's next game against Scunthorpe United which they also won 2–1.

On the opening day of the 2010–11 season, Fallon played the full 90 minutes and was the provider for Luke Summerfield's winning goal in Plymouth's 1–0 win over pre-season promotion favourites Southampton. In November, he joined Ipswich Town on short loan,[6] returning to Plymouth in January.

In August 2011, Fallon signed a one-month contract with Yeovil Town after a short trial and featured in all five of Yeovil's games during that period.

In September 2011, he signed a two-year deal with Scottish Premier League club Aberdeen. Fallon's time at Aberdeen was notable for his performances in the 2011–12 Scottish Cup. After scoring in Aberdeen's 4–0, 4th round victory over Forfar Athletic, he set up Aberdeen's opener in the 5th round 2–1 win over Queen of the South. Fallon then scored both goals in the 2–1 quarter final win against Motherwell to become the Player of the Round. Although Aberdeen lost the semi-final at Hampden Park 2–1 against Hibernian,[13] Fallon's second half equaliser went on to be voted the PFA Goal of the Season. On 13 May 2013 Fallon was released by Aberdeen having scored three league goals in 35 appearances.

Fallon joined Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone in July 2013 on a free transfer, the deal was completed in time for Fallon to play a part, if called upon, in St Johnstone's UEFA Europa League second qualifying round tie against Norwegian Tippeligaen side Rosenborg. On 31 January 2014, Fallon left St Johnstone by mutual consent.

In February 2014, Fallon joined Crawley Town until the end of the 2013–14 season.

In September 2014, Fallon joined Scunthorpe United on a short term deal. Fallon scored on his Scunthorpe début in a 3-2 loss to Oldham Athletic on 27 September 2014.

In January 2016, Fallon joined Bristol Rovers on non-contract terms until the end of the season. He made his debut as a 76th-minute substitute, in a 1-0 loss to Accrington Stanley F.C. In the summer of 2016, he Joined National League South club, Turo City as a player-coach but had his contract cancelled by mutual consent in December 2016.[22]

International career

Despite being born in New Zealand and having a father who coached New Zealand at the 1982 World Cup, Fallon chose to represent England at junior level. He played international football for England at U16, U17, U18, U19 and U20 levels and switched when FIFA changed the eligibility rules.

He did, however, represent New Zealand in an unofficial U-16 World Cup in France in 1998 where Wynton Rufer was the coach. Shortly after, he departed for England to be an apprentice at Barnsley.

In January 2006, New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert suggested that Fallon might still get a chance to represent New Zealand at senior level. Herbert claimed that the only reason why Fallon wasn't picked was due to lack of correspondence from FIFA regarding this matter. Fallon had until he was 21 years old to get clearance from FIFA to change nationalities. It found, however, that Fallon did not apply in the 2004 window to change allegiance for over-21s players. This year-long window was made available by FIFA upon introduction of a rule which allows players with dual nationality to switch their allegiance before their 21st birthday. Under this criterion Fallon could not be available for New Zealand.

On 3 June 2009, FIFA Congress passed a motion removing the age limit for changing associations for players who had already played for a country's national team at youth level under article 18 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes. This allowed for the possibility of Fallon again representing New Zealand.

In August 2009, Fallon was called up to the New Zealand squad for a friendly against Jordan the following month and the crucial two-legged World Cup play-off matches against Bahrain later in the year. Fallon scored on debut in the match against Jordan, which New Zealand won 3–1.

On 14 November 2009, Fallon scored the only goal in the second leg of New Zealand's World Cup qualifier against Bahrain, to send New Zealand to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, their first appearance at the finals in 28 years. Fallon played in all three of New Zealand's finals games.