Molloy has tough task as New York manager

[caption id="attachment_69184" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Kildare's Padraig Fogerty, left, in action against Lorcan Hiney of Offaly during the O’Byrne Cup quarterfinal."]


Interviews were conducted during the week for the position of New York senior football manager. Seeking the position were Seamus Sweeney, Connie Molloy, Eugene Kyne and Gary Dowd. However at the end of deliberations the panel opted for Connie Molloy, giving him a two year term in charge of the Big Apple footballers.

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Molloy is no stranger to the scene as he has been steeped in all aspects of the game here for close to three decades. He is originally from Ardra, Co. Donegal and had shone with club and county before arriving in the Big Apple in the early eighties. His brother Anthony captained Donegal to their first All-Ireland title in 1992. On this side of the Atlantic the Molloy clan have been hugely influential in the success of the Donegal club here through the years. Connie along with his brothers Frank and Lanty won several New York senior and junior championships with their club. Connie also had a very successful rein as a player with the New York team in the eighties as he was a member of the centenary team in 1984.

Since retiring from playing, though that date is difficult to determine as Molloy was always prepared to enter the fray if the occasion demanded, the Donegal man has been consistently involved as a manager, a coach and a selector at the senior, junior and minor level. Over the last decade he has been a selector on a number of occasions with the senior team plus his son CJ has been a regular on the team. The new manager has a tough task ahead of him as the performance of the Big Apple squad was very poor this past year. Granted that there may be a very limited pool of bone fide intercounty caliber players, but the situation was exacerbated by the unavailability of some quality players.

However Molloy will not be wanting for passion or enthusiasm as he has a tendency to operate close to the edge at times. Perhaps that approach will give the New York squad a bit more of an edge when they take on Sligo in the first round of the championship in early May. The rest of the management team will be named later in the week and training will begin immediately with a challenge match against the New York collegiate team.

The very mild winter weather to date has been a boon to the New York collegiate team as they have been preparing for the British Universities’ competition which will be held on February 10th, 11th and 12th at various sites in England. New York participates in division two which also includes Liverpool, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Newman, Ulcan, UWIC, Sunderland, Imperial, Heriotwatt, Glasgow and Glasgow Caley. The team is managed by Eamon Deane while the selectors are Connie Molloy, Dennis Twomey and Rodger Slattery. The tour manager is Eugene McArdle while Simon Gillespie is the trainer. The panel of players is as follows: Kevin McArdle (Celtics), Tom Huvane(St. Raymond’s), Donnacha O’Dwyer(Rangers), Kieran Slattery( St. Raymond’s), Jonathon Maher(St. Patrick’s), Frankie McDermott(St. Barnabas), Daniel Lehane(Rangers), Shane Hogan(St. Barnabas), Del Ferreira( Donegal), Conor Hogan(St. Barnabas), Sean Reilly(St. Brendan’s), Thomas O’Brien(Rangers), Adrian Jusufi(Rangers), Shane Hanley(Rockland), Liam Deane(St. Barnabas), CJ Molloy(Donegal), Brian Twomey(Rangers), Sean Reilly(St. Brendan’s) Kevin Daly(Rangers) and Brian Givney(Celtics). The last two years the team reached the semifinal stages, this year they are hoping to progress further in the competition, perhaps win it. This is certainly a very talented squad with plenty of experience and augmented by some state of the art training under the tutelage of the development officer Simon Gillespie. There will be a “night at the races” in Ned Devine’s, on McLean Av. on Sunday, January 28th to help offset the cost of the trip. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Ryan Meara gets drafted

Occasionally when a player displays an usual level of talent or skill that may be at variance with level of the competition, the usual question is often asked, where did they find him? That certainly was the question being asked about Ryan Meara when he lined out for St. Barnabas in the junior knockout competition this year. The 6-foot-4 athletic specimen with the very sure hands, the seventy five yards plus kick outs and the amazing agility to stop goal bound shots certainly caught the attention of the regular core of weekly spectators. Well the answer about the origins of the St. Barnabas goalkeeper came in very emphatic fashion during the week when the New York sports media announced that Ryan Meara, the Fordham soccer goalkeeper, had been drafted in the MLS as the thirty first pick overall by the Red Bulls.

He was the first goalkeeper selected in the Super Draft and the only player from the Atlantic 10 Conference. Meara became the first Fordham player to be chosen in the MLS since John Wolyneic was drafted in 1999 by the Metro Stars. Meara had an outstanding career at Fordham having being named to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic team three years in a row. He was also named as the 2011 A-10 defensive player of the year while Meara finished 11th in the NCAA in goals against average. In his early years, the Crestwood native from Yonkers, played with the Rangers under-age teams while he also played infrequently in later years with the St. Barnabas minor and under 21 teams, though obviously his career in soccer preempted him from playing more frequently.

Now the incipient professional has among his many accolades achieved at Fordham University and Fordham Prep a GAA junior knock out medal from Gaelic Park. It certainly was a fine piece of recruiting by the young St. Barnabas students to have such an outstanding athlete featuring in junior football. They definitely knew where to find a good one.

John Kelly to be honored

Well it is the season of banquets and the GAA have just announced the guest of honor for this year. This prestigious honor goes to John Kelly, a native of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Over the course of four decades John has been a central figure in hurling circles as a player, mentor and manager at club and county level. He won championship medals at senior and junior level plus John also played football. In addition John has also served on the New York GAA board in a number of capacities. The banquet will be held at Antun’s in Queens on March 31st with Tommy Fahey as the chairman of the event.