The Her Sport mailbox gives our readers a voice to share their opinions. This week we received a mail from a member of our community who has been impressed by Ireland's newest rising star, Ellen Molloy. If you want to share your story or opinion please send us a mail at [email protected].
This year is the first time I’ve properly followed the Women’s National League. With coverage from Her Sport and the WNL show I thought I would give it a chance. While I can’t say I have watched every game – I have followed the action where possible and with the likes of Wexford Youths streaming some of the games or posting the highlights on YouTube – I have managed to follow the top teams where possible.
The standard has definitely impressed me but one player in particular has stood out.
Sixteen-year-old Ellen Molloy.
2020➡️Senior International, 😯, what a journey, and we've plenty more like Ellen Molloy coming through our underage structures. The future is bright😎⚽️🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/n9DN2HMkSi
— Richard Berkeley (@richiebfootball) October 24, 2020
The former Thomastown United player, scored twice and bagged an assist on her Women’s National League debut against Bohemians but it was her performance against the reigning champions Peamount United which really brought the starlet onto my radar.
Once again Molloy bagged a brace and she did so against a side who scored 19 goals and conceded none in the four games prior. Yet it wasn’t Molloy’s goals that got me to stand up and take notice. There was a particular incident in the second half which instantly told me she is destined to be a star.
Before I get into that, it’s clear that Molloy has all the building blocks to be a top player. At 16, she is incredibly gifted. She is very comfortable with both feet, her finishing off her left is probably her favoured but she strikes a mean shot off her right as well. With a low centre of gravity she is brilliant at creating that half space to get by her opponent while her upper body strength is definitely an attribute which allows her to compete at this level. Molloy is really classy and has the technical foundations that already puts her ahead of most players.
One element which you can’t teach and impressed me the most is her football brain. For someone so young, Molloy knows exactly when to release a pass, to dribble or to shoot. There was a moment in the Peamout United game which really exemplified this for me. Three-nil up against the Pea’s on a hattrick, Molloy was played in on the right-hand channel of the box. With Niamh Farrelly closing her down, Molloy cutely took a sublime touch inside the defender, cutting across her, giving her no option but to either bring her down or let her through on goal. (From 4:36 in the YouTube clip below) That type of intuition is something I don’t think you can teach and is a testament to the talent and mind of the young footballer. I should also stress, that is just one particular decision making scenario - I could have picked plenty others!
Needless to say Molloy has taken the Women’s National League by storm and even earned herself a cap for the Republic of Ireland as she made her debut against Ukraine in Kyiv. I would be shocked if this wasn't the first of many. One thing is for sure, she does not look short of confidence or bravery as she has taken the rise in standard in her stride. At times it's baffling how someone so young can look so assured.
This weekend she scored yet another goal and yet another screamer, this time against Galway. I personally don’t think it will be long before one the top teams in the Women’s Super League, over in England, come calling. I do know it’s important to not put too much pressure on the young kid who still has a lot to learn and plenty of mistakes to make. However, as an Irish supporter I am very excited for what the future holds for this young midfielder.
Ellen Molloy only turned 17 in June. What a talent. https://t.co/swgEGcL0h3
— Mark McCadden (@markmccadden) November 21, 2021