BARRY Molloy slipped quietly off the pitch at Finn Park last Friday night and into retirement as he began a new chapter in his life as a fitness instructor at FF Fitness.
There was no fanfare for the midfielder as the crowd saluted Finn Harps stalwart, Kevin McHugh who also called time on his own successful football career on a night when the Ballybofey club celebrated their Premier Division survival.
We are really happy to bring Barry on board as he fits what we are all about here at FF, he is passionate about health and fitness and is eager to learn and get started.Seamus Fox
And for the former Derry City skipper, it was the perfect way to officially hang up his boots. Under the radar and with minimal fuss although he admits he will miss the game.
The Bishop’s Street native had been coaxed out of retirement once before by Harps boss Ollie Horgan in the hope he could help keep the club in the top flight but this time his decision is final!
And he’s looking forward to a new venture in the fitness industry having signed up with the succesful fitness franchise this week. Indeed, Molloy reckons teaming up with proprietor of FF Fitness, Seamus Fox is a ‘natural fit’ having worked closely with him from 2011 during his time at Derry City. And he believes a career as a personal trainer and coach, ‘makes sense’ as he looks to fill the void left by football.
“It’s good to stay in the fitness side of things after finishing up with football,” said Molloy. “I’ve always had an interest working in the gym and have enjoyed working with ‘Foxy’ (Seamus Fox).
“So the opportunity was too good to turn down to go and work alongside Seamus who has done really, really well for himself in the last couple of years.
“I’ve always enjoyed the fitness side of things from I was 15 years-old,” he added. “I was always fairly skinny but once I got into doing weights and seeing how it helped my game I’ve always enjoyed getting fit, healthy and strong.
“Now as I’m out of football I’m going to have to fill that void and this is the best way for me to do that going in and training with someone like ‘Foxy’ who has great experience.”
Molloy, who has won the Irish League with Crusaders, won the FAI Cup twice, several League Cups and the First Division title with his hometown club, can now include securing Premier Division survival to his distinguished CV.
But he knew the time was right to walk away from the game this time and was delighted to go out on a high.
“I was delighted to go out on a high in terms of keeping Finn Harps in the Premier Division. It was Kevin McHugh’s big day too so I was glad there wasn’t much attention on me and I slipped away quietly.
“I had mixed emotions as it was the last time I was ever going to be involved in the dressing room so it was quite emotional. But the time is right. I’ve had a decent career with a lot of good clubs so I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and I think it’s the right decision to make the step into another career.
“Every club I’ve been to Drogheda, Finn Harps, Derry City, Crusaders, they’ve all been brilliant to me and I always had a really good rapport with the fans as they have understood I’ve given everything and have been an honest player.
“I’ve been very fortunate to play in big games and I’m happy with what I’ve achieved,”
With local underage football clubs making use of the gym at FF Fitness every week, Molloy believes he can offer specialised coaching given his knowledge of the game.
And he’s also looking forward to working closely with ‘Foxy’ and the rest of the team at the gym franchise as he bids to make his mark in the fitness industry.
“I’ve always knew ‘Foxy’ but started to work with him on my own in 2011/12. I did a lot of off season work with him and worked on a lot of strength and power work and really enjoyed it. My game and fitness levels went through the roof. They were second to none then.
“He then got involved with Derry City then and our relationship was always very good. We always enjoyed working together.
“We’ve been very close since then,” he added. “We kept in touch and trained together. So it was a natural thing to say ‘yes’ and I jumped at the chance to work under him.
“It’ gives me an opportunity to work with young teams coming into the gym. It will be good for them to see someone who has been involved in football.
“It will be good to see how the classes work and all the different aspects of FF Fitness. I’ll be sharing my time with Bay Road Soccer as I also have a job in there.
“I can’t wait to get started and we’ll see what happens from then.
“I’m doing a bit of coaching and hoping to step that up in the New Year and start my coaching badges. Hopefully it will be a big year for myself in terms of getting my personal training course done and getting my coaching done. So it’s hopefully a very exciting year ahead and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
FF Fitness owner, Fox, was delighted to welcome Molloy on board.
“We would like to welcome our new trainer to the team, Barry Molloy,” he said. “Barry will need no real introduction as I’m sure you know. Barry hung his boots up for good on Friday night after a long successful career in football.
“I have worked with Barry for almost five years now in a one-on-one setting and when I also coached with the Derry team a few years ago.
“Barry is a fantastic athlete and the ultimate professional, it’s no wonder he has had such a long career which started in England with Derby then back home to Derry City, Crusaders, and finishing with Finn Harps.
“We are really happy to bring Barry on board as he fits what we are all about here at FF, he is passionate about health and fitness and is eager to learn and get started.
He will be a invaluable asset to the young football teams we coach here at FF Fitness and to all our members.”