Oceania Football Confederation > News > 2016 OFC Nations Cup > Fallon eyes Nations Cup glory

Fallon eyes Nations Cup glory

Fallon, whose place in New Zealand’s football folklore is assured thanks to his winner against Bahrain to book the All Whites a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, had to endure a frustrating 15 months after suffering a serious knee injury while playing for his former English club side Scunthorpe United.
The 34-year-old, who hasn’t played for New Zealand for over two years, admits he feared his international career was over.
“Following the cruciate ligament damage I didn’t think I would kick a ball again,” he says.
“It was a lot of hard work and eventually I managed to return to football with Bristol Rovers four month ago.”
He says New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson, whose tenure began nearly two years ago, has offered him plenty of encouragement throughout his lengthy recovery.
“My communication with the gaffer has been really good from the start and he has always said that if you’re fit and have a club then you’re in the mix.
“That gave me a bit of hope when I was injured to get to where I needed to be,” Fallon says.
“During that 15 months I didn’t have a break, I was back in the gym straight away and I have done everything I possible could to get here.”
Fallon insists he is both mentally and physically ready to fire on all cylinders at the OFC Nations Cup in Papua New Guinea.
“I’m just buzzing and if I wasn’t up for it then I wouldn’t put myself out there.
“Every time you go out and put the shirt on you’re under scrutiny so I wouldn’t do that to myself,” he says.
“With the amount of work I’ve done and everything I’ve been through, I just thought I needed to kick on one more time, I’ve got myself fit for this.”
The experienced striker says he is well aware of the type challenges he and his teammates will face in PNG.
“It’s a very tough place to go and it’s always hard to play in the islands, no matter what anyone says.
“On paper, you might think they would be easy games but the pitch will be rock hard, it will be roasting hot and we’ll be up against it,” he says.
Fallon also admits that New Zealand’s semifinal defeat to New Caledonia at the 2012 Nations Cup in the Solomon Islands will provide him with extra motivation.
“It’s still lingering because it was a very difficult time for all the boys and the staff as well.
“I just can’t wait to get back out there and put it right.
“I really can’t put my finger on what happened in Honiara but I think we are lot more prepared this time around.”
The All Whites are currently in a training camp in Brisbane to prepare for their OFC Nations Cup campaign which they will begin against Fiji on 28 May.


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