By Damian Dolan
Former Tyrone star Owen Mulligan can help Fulham Irish to take the next step, says club chairperson Liam Barry, and that means making its mark on the Connacht Club Championship.
Mulligan, who won three All-Irelands with Tyrone, will take his first steps into management with the south Londoners after the club made the decision to “freshen things up”.
He takes over from Down-native Greg McCartan who guided the club to its second-ever senior title in 2017. Fulham reached last year’s county final but were beaten by Tir Chonaill Gaels in a replay.
Mulligan was part of that title success in 2017, but injuries hampered the 37-year-old last year, and he recently announced his retirement from football.
“We’re a perfect fit for each other,” Barry told the Irish World. “He wants to get into management and we were looking to freshen up the management team.
“We have to sustain been right at the top of London GAA, and that’s a stepping stone to try and compete in the Connacht Club Championship.
“Winning a game in Connacht is an ambition of the club, but to have a chance of doing that you have to be continuously playing in the competition.”
Mulligan was the overwhelming choice to succeed McCartan. A committee set up by the club to recommend potential replacements came back with just one name, Owen Mulligan.
Fulham Irish Senior Football Team Manager Appointment pic.twitter.com/uwfE16U1pn
— Fulham Irish GAA (@FulhamIrish) January 25, 2019
“We then had a very open discussion with Owen about the club’s ambitions and having gone away and thought about it he came back and felt it was the right time for him to step into management, and step away from playing football,” said Barry.
“Since he’s joined the club it’s been a success story, and I just hope there’s more to be told in that story.
“We hope this is the start of a long and successful management path for Owen.
The club has given Mulligan the “freedom” to appointment his own management team, with license to being in people from outside of Fulham Irish. His team will be confirmed to due course.
Barry paid tribute to McCartan’s contribution to Fulham Irish.
He said: “In his three years, Greg brought the club to the pinnacle of the GAA in London and kept us at that level. We hope Mugsy can maintain the standards and level that Greg has taken us to.”