Thursday, December 19, 2019

By Harry Shorthose

RATHVILLY’S Eric Molloy signed a professional contract with Polish second division side Stomil Olsztyn in September and has since played 10 games. He returned home to Ireland recently for the mid-season break.

“I like the football I’m playing,” Eric says. “I usually play on the or right wing. I think I’m probably a little bit frustrated with how I’ve done. I’ve probably had most of the chances and created so many, but just haven’t finished them. I’ve had a lot of shots that have been saved.”

He believes he is still in that settling-in period.

“I’m feeling stronger, fitter than I’ve been before,” he says. “I’m getting match sharpness. If the goals went in, you’d hear a lot more about me! It is frustrating though that all the work I’ve put in just hasn’t come off yet. I’m very hungry to get the ball in the back of the net. I’m always trying to improve and always trying to get better. I haven’t practiced too much of the shooting though, I’ve worked on a lot of other things in the past year such as staying injury free.”

He acknowledges the Polish game is very different to Irish football.

“They take it seriously over here, there’s VAR and everything, it’s fully professional, it’s a really good set-up. I’ve seen a lot of stuff about the FAI recently, Poland seems to be so much better in that respect. The stadiums and facilities are all fantastic, it’s great to play in such great stadiums and nice pitches. The only problem is the away days. Every journey is at least five or six hours so it takes its toll a little bit.”

Eric is looking forward to the break and training back at IT Carlow.

“It’s a good chance to work on some of your weaknesses and areas that you might not usually get to focus on in season. It’s a good chance to put a bit more emphasis on individual training with the ball and some gym work, strength and conditioning. That takes the mind off the season and what’s been going on a bit because we do have a break for five weeks.

“I have the time to work on the shooting and when you practice something and work on something, you naturally get better so I’m definitely going to put a lot of focus on that, I might watch a few videos of other players and how they do it. I need to work on my weaknesses.”

It has been a positive year for Eric and he hopes to push on further in 2020.

“I’ve gone from playing in the FIFA Club World Cup with Team Wellington last December to finishing off the season strongly with them and then scoring against Chelsea [for Bohemians in a pre-season friendly]. I’ve gotten a lot of experience from going on trials with professional clubs and eventually signing my first professional contract. And not just signing, but breaking into a team and starting and getting trust from a manager that doesn’t even know you.

“You have to see that as a massive positive, it’s something I’ve worked hard for many years to get to, it’s a huge milestone. I’m very thankful and grateful for where I am. I hope I can really push on and hopefully help this team into the play-offs and promotion. I want to have more of an impact on the team next year, whether that’s setting up more goals or scoring more.”

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