Timmy Molloy: 'It's great that UCD allows you to have a plan for after playing'Wed, Jul 10 2019
From winning the First Division to completing his degree while at the foot of the Premier Division, former UCD midfielder Timmy Molloy has had a rollercoaster past 18 months.
Now cycling across the USA in aid of Jigsaw Mental Health, Molloy is taking a brief break from the League of Ireland scene to raise some much-needed funds for the charity.
Prior to the completion of his engineering degree, the 25-year-old played a key role in the Students' return to the Premier Division.
“I was with UCD when we got relegated to the First Division originally, so I had some experience playing in the Premier Division,” he tells extratime.ie.
“Undeniably, it is a big step up and the results show that. Managing both college and football, it was rough at times with it being my final year.
“Teams in the Premier Division have so much quality that they don't usually need to totally dominate a game to beat you.
“With UCD we could have plenty of possession but if we gave away a handful of chances they would be taken. We would usually then lack the cutting edge to break down the more experienced and polished back fours.
“It's great to finally have the degree and I owe the club, and especially Diarmuid McNally, for helping me get through the degree. I would have had to drop out at a time, so I owe him greatly. Without football and the scholarship, I wouldn’t have an engineering degree now.
“Football is always temporary especially in Ireland and it’s great that UCD allows you to have a plan for after playing. That being said, you don't need to be in college and get a degree to plan a way to make a living after football.”
With UCD’s ever blossoming production line, the reputation of its players has grown rapidly upon their return to the top-flight.
“The mass exodus at UCD was unavoidable really with the way the club is,” the 2018 First Division winner admits.
“However, there are still some great players left there and Collie has proven he is excellent at getting good performances out of young inexperienced players. With the recent win against Fin Harps I think there is hope of staying up through a play off.
“Winning the First Division was the standout moment, but I have great memories of the year as a whole. We couldn’t have won with it with a better group of lads.”
While many of UCD peers have gone onto pastures new, Molloy has opted to take a step back for a few months, raising some very valuable funds for Jigsaw Mental Health.
“I originally got the idea after watching this old documentary series called the ‘Long Way Round’ where Ewan McGregor rides a motorcycle around the globe. We then decided as a group we wanted to do it for a good cause as well raising money.
“We didn't do a whole lot of prep for the cycle, we just booked flights and headed over to Boston where most of us bought our bikes. From there, we started cycling from the coast at Quincy Beach.”
Joined by close friends David McLaughlin, Gearoid Lyons, Richie McManus and Ruairi Hession, the dogged creative midfielder is hoping he can help young players seek help by raising awareness through the cause.
“In general, the trends for mental health have been poor in recent years in Ireland with increased cases of anxiety and depression being reported especially in young people, which is a shame.
“Possibly, the best way to combat these trends is to make people aware of the help they can receive and to support the organisations that provide this help.
“From a footballer’s perspective, I think it is tricky for a young guy who is suffering to come forward to a manager and admit you need help treating your own depression and anxiety possibly out of fear of showing weakness.
“At the higher levels where boys are fighting for contracts and game time, you might not want to admit you're struggling off the pitch to a manager or coach.”
After completing half of the journey thus far, the group of five have raised just over 60% of their €5,000 targeted total.
If you are in a position to donate to a worthy cause such as the cycle in question, you can donate via the link here.
Also, you can follow the unfolding events on the group’s Instagram page @usacoasttocoastjigsaw.
Furthermore, if you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can contact a range of organisations below.