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Kieran Molloy of NUIG poses for a portrait during the Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Championships Launch and Draw at DCU, Dublin.
Kieran Molloy of NUIG poses for a portrait during the Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Championships Launch and Draw at DCU, Dublin.

Kieran Molloy happy to be busy


By John Harrington

By Kieran Molloy’s own admission, he’s the sort of person who struggles to sit still.

Football, he reckons, “is a great way for me to tire myself out more than anything else”.

It’s a good thing he likes to be active then, because he hasn’t really had a break from football for the past three years between club, college, and county football.

In fact, the four-week break from when we spoke until Corofin’s AIB All-Ireland Club SFC semi-final against Nemo Rangers on January 4 is the most significant spell he’s gone without a match in as long as he can remember.

Conflicting commitments to his various teams were a big issue for Molloy last year and have arguably stunted his development as an inter-county footballer.

But with the AIB All-Ireland Club Championship set to conclude in January in 2020 rather than run to St. Patrick’s Day, he’s hopeful his balancing act will be that bit easier.

“It still will be busy, but when there's no overlap it's very easy for managers to talk to one another and say, 'Can we get him this day and ye can have him this day?'”, says Molloy.

“I'm very lucky in a sense that the College and the Club managers, they're constantly in talks with one another. Kevin Walsh was very accommodating last year as well.

“I haven't been really talking about it yet with PJ (Padraic Joyce) about it this year, but hopefully he'll be on board with it as well.

“When you’re still playing for the club you miss out on a lot of pre-season with the county.

“That's where a lot of lads stake their claim. You're starting in the FBD and the Allianz League and that all comes into the way a manager thinks.

“The injuries last year came at a bad time for me as well. I made my first start for Galway against Sligo and 13 minutes in dislocated a shoulder and they wouldn't let me back on unfortunately.

“Then a week before the Roscommon game I tore the ligaments in my ankle and couldn't start then.”

Kieran Molloy of Corofin celebrates with a supporter after the 2019 AIB Connacht GAA Football Senior Club Football Championship Final match between Corofin and Pádraig Pearses at Tuam Stadium in Tuam, Galway.
Kieran Molloy of Corofin celebrates with a supporter after the 2019 AIB Connacht GAA Football Senior Club Football Championship Final match between Corofin and Pádraig Pearses at Tuam Stadium in Tuam, Galway.

Those two injuries are the only significant ones that Molloy believes he’s ever sustained and were all the more frustrating because of that.

He’s itching to show everyone just how well he can perform at the highest level, particularly as newly appointed Tribesmen manager, Padraic Joyce, has suggested he’ll get the team playing with the same sort of swagger and attacking intent that has been Corofin’s hallmark in recent years.

“It is great to hear that's the way he wants to play,” says Molloy. “Hopefully now I'll get a shot and prove that I can start for him.

“PJ (Padraic Joyce) is a very driven man too. He wants the players to do well and he wants the team to do well and he wants Galway people to come out and support the team.

“Hopefully a lot of the fans will come out and support us in 2020.”

Molloy has high hopes for NUIG’s Sigerson Cup run this year too which begins with a tricky test against reigning champions UCC, but his priority right now is Corofin’s AIB All-Ireland Club semi-final on January 4.

The Galway club are going for a historic third All-Ireland in a row, and Molloy believes their undiminished appetite for success is down to the high standards the players all set for one another.

“It is massively player-driven,” he says. “If you're not doing something right at training then you do get called out by one of the players. It doesn't take the management to call you out.

“If the drill is not going great, the players will reset the drill and say, look, sort it out. It is massively player-driven, yeah.

“At underage in the club the focus is all on the skills and getting those right. But when you get to senior then there's a huge appetite for success. It's not even so much about winning games, it's about getting into the team ahead of the lad that you're competing against for the jersey.

“That's where the competitive edge comes from, and that's why I feel we're so successful.”

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