Molloy impressing for Devon

Former Galway United midfielder Molloy a key performer in Salthill's title challenge

Timmy Molloy is happy to be back where his football journey began. As a particularly exciting Galway FA premier division season continues to unfold Molloy’s midfield craft has been a key feature for Salthill Devon.

A number of clubs believe that silverware can be attained, but following a productive stint in the SSE Airtricity League with UCD and Galway United, Molloy is relishing being involved with Devon once more.

Locally the junior game is gaining respect for the improvements made by so many clubs with Molloy agreeing that the standard is healthy at the moment. “It is definitely good, quite good, it is a different beast altogether because maybe the pitches are not as good, they are smaller, teams don't play in the same style,” Molloy says. “Definitely you have a lot of good players on display, the top four or five teams are very good really.”

Undoubtedly Salthill are placed high in that category with Molloy recalling some lengthy Irish Cup adventures in the underage ranks alongside some accomplished performers.

“The best we did was get to two semi-finals in back to back years, maybe U15 and U16,” he says. “We had the likes of Colm Horgan, Alex Byrne, who used to play with Galway United, and Conor Barry too.

“We never made it the full way, that is why you would still be dreaming with the Junior. There is a holy grail there where we could potentially win the FAI Junior Cup if we could get a good run, to play in the Aviva. That would definitely be something on the minds of all the lads up in Devon at the moment.”

Sunday’s game at Drom in that competition against Corrib Rangers is an awkward assignment, but Salthill want to maintain their decent home form. Recent draws away to Maree-Oranmore and Corrib Celtic mean Salthill now trail Mervue United in the premier division.

“Hopefully we can make a push for the title,” Molloy says. “It is like two different leagues, all the home games on the Astro, we have an advantage up there even though we still have loads of tough games, but getting the wins away from home we have struggled over the last couple of seasons. We didn't lose any games, hopefully the away form will improve towards the end of the year.”

Brother of recently retired Irish rugby international, Claire, the Molloys have made a rich contribution to sport in Galway. Members of the families have represented Ireland at rugby, football, hockey, and rowing. “It was massive,” Molloy says about the importance of sport in the house growing up. “We have all done our part in different sports. My sister is only recently retired from the rugby. Our parents were very supportive in that way, driving us everywhere from the age of 10.”

Having impressed for Salthill as a teenager in the SSE Aitricity League, Molloy had a decision to make after completing school at Coláiste Iognáid.

“I always wanted to move away. Galway United had just started again when I went to UCD in first year, the option was there to stay at home in first year,” Molloy says. “I honestly just wanted to move out of the house, to get a college experience away from home. In UCD it was obviously an unreal opportunity to play football too. I was always going to go somewhere.

“The Leinster Senior League when I was playing in my first year they were in the top league in Dublin. It was basically the third best league in the country, you had the likes of Crumlin and St Mochta's, these teams that would be going far in the Intermediate FAI Cup. It was a great easing into the League of Ireland stuff up there was playing a bit with that team first.

“It is virtually impossible to maintain it, as has been shown UCD won it 10 years ago before the team I was on won it and it was the exact same thing that happened. Everybody plays for about half a year in the premier division and then they go their separate ways.

“At the time I was playing towards the end it was only students that were allowed play anymore which makes it even harder for them to compete at the highest level even though they do compete fairly well in the first division at the moment. Lots of fond memories up there, definitely.”

Molloy was delighted to get an opportunity to play for Galway United during a dramatic conclusion to the 2020 campaign which ended in a promotion play/off defeat against Longford Town. “Definitely, I always wanted to do it, to tick it off the bucketlist,” he laughs.

“I would have loved to play longer, it is just the fact that they have gone full time, it is not really an option anymore. I had a great time there with really great lads, it was especially good when John [Caulfield] came in and we went on a bit of a run. It was just a shame it ended on a bit of a whimper against Longford when we really didn't play well.”

Since then Molloy has flourished in the light blue and white Devon shirt.

**Listen to the full interview with Salthill Devon's Timmy Molloy on this week's 'Cian On Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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