By Damian Dolan
Tyrone legend Owen Mulligan has been confirmed as Fulham Irish manager for a second year.
The three-time All Ireland winner was ratified as Fulham boss for 2020 at a committee meeting on Wednesday night (29 January).
Mulligan guided Fulham to a senior championship final last year, only to lose out by a point to Tir Chonaill Gaels.
The three-time All Ireland winner also guided the club to the final of the Conway Cup.
Fulham Irish chairperson Liam Barry said Mulligan is a “well respected” figure at the club.
“He was very unlucky not to win a senior championship in his first year in management last year,” Barry told the Irish World.
“He works very hard at the role and he expects high standards of the players. He’s a credit to the club in the way he goes about his job.
“He’s brought a real sense of calm to the senior set-up and his tactical prowess is extremely good.”
Barry also stressed the “continuity” that Mulligan’s re-appointment will give to the club, as it looks to “build on the foundations of last season” and win a first senior title since 2017.
“We were narrowly beaten in last year’s final and it’s important to have continuity to get success at the top level,” he said.
New London senior football selector and Fulham Irish player Lorcan Mulvey said keeping hold of Mulligan for another year is “huge”.
“Mugsy adds an awful lot,” said Mulvey.
“He’s good with the whole panel and highlights the club to people who may not have been aware of it – he’s opened new doors.”
We’re delighted to confirm that,having reached the 2019 SFC final in his first year of management, @owen_mulligan has been ratified as our Senior Football manager for 2020. Owen will again be assisted by @aidansavage & @seanmaguire83 . Best wishes to the management & players.🖤💚
— Fulham Irish GAA (@FulhamIrish) January 31, 2020
Where Mulligan excels in Mulvey’s eyes is the ability to coax an extra 10-15 per cent out of players and “improving them”.
“That’s his skill; people know how good he was and what he’s achieved as a player. Players respect him and they hang on every word,” said Mulvey.
“He has a wealth of experience and the more any of us can learn from him the better.”
His endless positivity and calmness on the sideline has been another categoristic.
“His positivity is contagious. He’s very rarely negative, but if he is negative it’s done with a small group of people within the management team,” added Mulvey.
As a Fulham player, Mulligan kicked the winning score in the 2017 senior county final, as the club claimed its second-ever title, and played in the 2018 defeat to TCG before taking over the managerial reins from Greg McCartan.
Mulligan’s presence, on the back of McCartan, has helped to “expand the Fulham umbrella”.
“Fellas coming over see Fulham as a club they wish to join because of these names,” said Mulvey.
“He’s obviously experienced what went wrong last year and hopefully he can put the last piece of the jigsaw together and get us across the line.
“Hopefully we can keep as many players as possible from last year, move up another gear this year and get the job done.”
Speaking to the Irish World prior to September’s county final, Mulligan said he was undecided about his future as Fulham manager, saying he had “a couple of options”, which included approaches from other clubs.
“I haven’t made a decision yet. I’m working here and I’m happy enough. I love managing Fulham….,” Mulligan told the Irish World.
In December, Mulligan had an eight-week ban imposed for making contact with Neasden Gaels’ Connaire Harrison during the sides’ league Division 1 league game at McGovern Park on 9 August overturned by the Hearings Committee.