Pat Fenlon

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Pat Fenlon
Personal information
Full name Patrick Fenlon
Date of birth (1969-03-15) 15 March 1969 (age 50)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1984–1987 Chelsea
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1991 St Patrick's Athletic 84 (24)
1991–1994 Bohemians 88 (29)
1994–1996 Linfield 62 (18)
1996–1997 Shamrock Rovers 31 (4)
1997–2003 Shelbourne 153 (27)
Total 418 (102)
National team
1988–1992 Republic of Ireland U21 3 (0)
1992 Republic of Ireland B 1 (1)
Teams managed
2002–2006 Shelbourne
2007 Derry City
2007–2008 Republic of Ireland U23
2008–2011 Bohemians
2011–2013 Hibernian
2014–2016 Shamrock Rovers
2017–2018 Waterford (Director of Football)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Patrick "Pat" Fenlon (born 15 March 1969) is an Irish football player and manager, who was last involved as a Director of Football of Waterford. Fenlon has previously managed Shelbourne, Derry City, the Republic of Ireland under-23s, Bohemians and Hibernian. He won five League of Ireland titles with Shelbourne and Bohemians between 2003 and 2009. His 2004 season with Shelbourne saw Fenlon become the first manager to reach the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League with an Irish club. During his time with Bohemians Fenlon won the FAI Cup in 2008, the League of Ireland Cup in 2009 and the Setanta Sports Cup in 2010. Fenlon moved to Scottish club Hibernian in November 2011, who he helped reach two Scottish Cup Finals, although both were lost heavily.

Playing career

Fenlon was born in Dublin. In April 1985 Fenlon netted a hat trick as Patrician College, Finglas won the Leinster Schools Junior Cup.[citation needed] He was with London club Chelsea as a young trainee.[1] A midfielder, he returned home and signed for Brian Kerr's St Patrick's Athletic in 1987[1] and made his League of Ireland debut on 13 September 1987, against Shelbourne at Harold's Cross Stadium.

Fenlon won the League of Ireland championship with St Pats in 1989–90.[1] In September 1990 he scored against Dinamo Bucharest in the European Cup.[2] After four seasons at St Pats, he signed for Bohemians in the summer of 1991.[1] He scored 29 goals in 88 appearances for Bohs and won the FAI Cup in 1992,[1] as well as the PFAI Player of the Year accolade. In February 1992, Fenlon scored for the Republic of Ireland in a 'B' international against Denmark.

Fenlon signed for Linfield in January 1994, a club supported mainly by fans drawn from Belfast's Protestant community, becoming the first Dublin catholic to do so.[3] Speaking about his time with Linfield twenty years later, Fenlon said he had been abused by fellow Irish Catholics for his decision to join Linfield based on their history.[3] Fenlon won two IFA Cups and one Irish Premier League championship with Linfield.[1] It was Fenlon's goal against Glentoran on the final day of the 1993–94 season which sealed the title for Linfield. He also scored the second goal in the 2-0 win against Bangor in the Irish Cup Final a week later.

In June 1996, he signed for another Dublin club, Shamrock Rovers.[1][4] But after one season he transferred to Shelbourne,.[1] Whilst playing for Shels he suffered a triple fracture of the shin in a match against Rovers in Tolka Park on 12 February 1999. He recovered from this to help fire Shelbourne to the league and cup double the following season, and secure a second PFAI Player of the Year award.[5] He scored the winning goal for Shelbourne in the 1999/00 FAI Cup final replay, as Shelbourne beat Bohemians 1–0.[6]

Management career


Fenlon started out his management career as player/manager of Shelbourne in 2002.[1] He guided the club to second place in his first season in charge. By the start of the 2003 season, Fenlon had retired from playing to focus solely on the management of the club.[1] The rewards were immediate, and Fenlon took the club to their first ever back-to-back league titles, in 2003 and 2004.[1]

The 2004 season also saw Fenlon lead his squad past Icelandic champions KR Reykjavík and Croatian high-flyers Hajduk Split and into the third (final) qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, where his Shelbourne side were eventually overturned by Spanish giants Deportivo la Coruña.[7] Following this amazing run, and participation in the First Round of the UEFA Cup against Lille OSC, Fenlon was rewarded with a contract extension.[8] This made him the first manager to reach the third qualifying round of the competition with an Irish club.[1]

2005 promised big things for Fenlon and Shelbourne. However, things did not go exactly as planned. In spite of several big name signings, Shelbourne staggered past the season's finishing-line in a disappointing third place. One of Fenlon's former clubs, Linfield, also beat Shelbourne in the first Setanta Cup final. 2006 saw the return of success. Dogged by continuous rumours involving a move from Tolka Park during the 2006 season, Fenlon guided the club to their third league title in 4 years on 17 November 2006, with a 2–1 victory over rivals Bohemians, which saw the Dubliners claim the title on goal difference.

Derry City

This was followed by reports linking Fenlon to the vacant hot-seat at Derry City left by Stephen Kenny, who had departed the Brandywell Stadium to take up the managers position at Scottish side Dunfermline Athletic. Fenlon resigned from his position as Shelbourne manager on 5 December 2006[9] and the reports proved true when Derry concluded an agreement with him.[1] In January 2007, Fenlon was awarded the eircom/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland (SWAI) 'Personality of the Year' award after his success during the 2006 season with Shelbourne. However, results at Derry did not favour Fenlon and he resigned his position after just five months.[1][10] Fenlon was also manager for a series of games for the Republic of Ireland under-23 national team, consisting entirely of League of Ireland players.[11]


On 22 December 2007, he was appointed manager of Bohemians.[1] In 2008, within a year of his appointment, he guided Bohs to their second League of Ireland/FAI Cup double in a decade. The 19 points winning margin in the League was a new record. He won the league in 2009 with Bohs beating arch rivals Shamrock Rovers by 4 points. Bohs also won the League of Ireland Cup that year. Scottish Premier League club Dundee United attempted to appoint him as their manager in January 2010, although their compensation offer of £90,000 was rejected, with Bohemians looking for over £200,000.[12] Bohemians won the Setanta Sports Cup in 2010, but then suffered financial problems.


Fenlon was linked with the manager's position at Hibernian in November 2011.[13] Hibernian were struggling badly in the SPL at the time and were in danger of relegation. Bohemians gave Hibernian permission to talk to Fenlon on 23 November[14] and he was appointed two days later.[15][16][17] Unusually, what would be Fenlon's debut game as manager away to Motherwell was abandoned at half time,[18] when one of the Fir Park floodlights caught fire.

Hibs earned only one point from Fenlon's first five matches in charge.[19] On 14 January 2012, Hibs won their first league game under Fenlon, against Dunfermline.[20] With the club still struggling, Fenlon decided to shake up the squad in January 2012 by releasing some players and replacing them with loan signings, including James McPake.[21] The team's form improved and Hibernian made progress in the battle to avoid relegation. Furthermore, a late goal by Leigh Griffiths gave Fenlon's side a 2–1 victory against Aberdeen and a place in the 2012 Scottish Cup Final.[22][23] Fenlon then guided Hibs to safety in the SPL,[21][24] but they lost 5–1 in the Scottish Cup Final to Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts and Fenlon was sent to the stand by referee Craig Thomson late in the game.[25][26]

The 2012–13 season began with 10 new faces in to replace the majority of the side that lost the cup final. Hibs pushed on in the first half of the season and found themselves top of the league after their 3–0 win over Dundee. After a slump in the middle of the season, a 1–0 victory against Dundee on the final day resulted in Hibs finishing 7th in Fenlon's first full season in charge.[27] Hibs also beat Hearts to progress into the 5th round of the Scottish Cup. Wins against Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Falkirk meant that Hibs reached a second successive Scottish Cup final, which they lost 3–0 to Celtic.[28]

The 2013–14 season began with a humiliating 9–0 aggregate defeat to Swedish side Malmö in the second qualifying round of the Europa League, including a 7–0 reverse at Easter Road in the home leg.[28] Fenlon apologised to the supporters, but the defeats against Malmö placed him under pressure.[28] A run of just one defeat in nine matches left Hibernian safely in mid-table and eased that pressure, but some Hibs fans protested against Fenlon after the team lost a League Cup quarter-final against Hearts.[29] Fenlon resigned on 1 November 2013.[30]

Shamrock Rovers

Fenlon was appointed manager of Shamrock Rovers in August 2014.[31]


On 2 January Fenlon was appointed in a Director of Football role at Waterford.[32] Waterford native Alan Reynolds was also appointed as the clubs Head Coach on the same day. Fenlon had worked with Reynolds before at Shelbourne in 2005-2006 where they won the League of Ireland Premier Division together. Waterfords promotion was sealed after Waterfords 3-0 win over Wexford was coupled with nearest challengers Cobh Ramblers 3-0 defeat to Cabinteely and the First Division title was secured with two games to spare and for the first time in ten years Waterford returned to the League of Ireland Premier Division.[33] Fenlon left his post at Waterford in February 2018 to work with the chairman of the club Lee Power as a consultant on his worldwide projects.[34]

Managerial statistics

As of 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Shelbourne1 Republic of Ireland 26 April 2002 5 December 2006 135 76 38 21 056.30
Derry City Republic of Ireland 8 December 2006 22 May 2007 11 4 3 4 036.36
Republic of Ireland U23 Republic of Ireland 15 October 2007 22 October 2008 3 2 0 1 066.67
Bohemians Republic of Ireland 22 December 2007 25 November 2011 174 106 35 33 060.92
Hibernian Scotland 25 November 2011 1 November 2013 87 31 19 37 035.63
Shamrock Rovers Republic of Ireland 6 August 2014 3 July 2016 69 36 19 14 052.17
Total 478 254 114 110 053.14
  • 1.^ Includes only league record.



St Patrick's Athletic
Shamrock Rovers





  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Pat Fenlon Factfile". Irish Independent. 28 December 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  2. ^ The Irish Times Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b Grant, Michael (12 January 2012). "Exclusive: Pat Fenlon irked by anti-Irish abuse but refuses to make it an issue". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  4. ^ The Irish Times Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Ireland – Player of the Year and Other Awards". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Ireland 1999/2000". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Shelbourne 0–0 Deportivo". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 August 2004. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Season 2004 ( Shelbourne )". Shelbourne F.C. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  9. ^ "Fenlon resigns from Tolka Park post". 5 December 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  10. ^ Official Club Statement: Resignation of Pat Fenlon Archived 6 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, CityWeb, 22 May 2007. Retrieved on 22 May 2007.
  11. ^ "Fenlon confirmed as Under-23 manager". RTÉ News. 15 October 2007. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007.
  12. ^ Spence, Jim (8 January 2010). "Dundee United drop interest in Bohemians' Pat Fenlon". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  13. ^ Young, Chick (15 November 2011). "Pat Fenlon favourite for Hibernian job". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Hibs given permission to speak to Fenlon". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 25 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Hibernian appoint Pat Fenlon as new manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Fenlon announced as Hibernian manager". RTÉ Sport. 25 November 2011. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  17. ^ "Hibernian announce Fenlon as boss". ESPN Soccernet. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Motherwell 0 – 1 Hibernian". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  19. ^ "Hibernian need manager stability, feels Paatelainen". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  20. ^ "Dunfermline Athletic 2–3 Hibernian". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  21. ^ a b Ryan, Sean (13 May 2012). "Fenlon relishes his rebuilding role". Irish Independent. INM. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  22. ^ Lindsay, Clive (14 April 2012). "Aberdeen 1–2 Hibernian". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  23. ^ Lindsay, Clive (15 April 2012). "Celtic 1–2 Hearts". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  24. ^ McHugh, Joe (8 May 2012). "Hibs storm to survival". Evening Herald. INM. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Hearts run rampant at Hampden to win the 2012 Scottish Cup final". 19 May 2012.
  26. ^ "Hibs' manager Pat Fenlon to face SFA panel over alleged gesture". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ a b c Moffat, Colin (27 July 2013). "Hibernian: Pat Fenlon needs quick fix after Malmo defeat". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Hibs manager Pat Fenlon defiant after Cup loss to Hearts". BBC Sport. BBC. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  30. ^ "Hibernian: Manager Pat Fenlon exits Easter Road". BBC Sport. BBC. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  31. ^ Ex-Hibs boss Pat Fenlon returns to management with Shamrock, Edinburgh Evening News
  32. ^ Finlay, Evan. "Pat Fenlon and Alan Reynolds have been signed by Waterford FC". Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  33. ^ "Waterford FC Crowned First Division Champions". Waterford FC. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  34. ^
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