One of the biggest trades that came to fruition during the AFLW Trade and Sign Period was that of star Collingwood forward Chloe Molloy, when she had requested a trade to the Sydney Swans. She spoke candidly about that decision to move to the expansion club ahead of Season Eight.
Having made her debut in 2018 with the Collingwood Magpies, her childhood club, star forward Chloe Molloy was perfectly matched with the club. She became a consistent performer for the club in her years there, kicking 37 goals from 47 games, earning two All-Australian honours (2018 and 2021), a Rising Star Award (2018) and a Collingwood Best and Fairest (2018).
However at 24-years of age, a new challenge beckoned ahead of Season Eight, the chance to help mentor the next crop of youngsters to develop herself as a person.
But it hasn’t come without its difficulties, moving to a new city and leaving her old teammates behind has been ’emotionally taxing’ however Molloy is excited about the future.
Chloe Molloy spoke exclusively to The Inner Sanctum about the new team and her new life in Sydney.
“Off-field on a personal note, it was a huge move to move your whole life and put it all in boxes and pack everything up and move interstate,” Molloy told The Inner Sanctum.
“I was probably a little bit naive in [thinking about] how big of a change it might have been and I’m in rehab as well, so it’s been up and down.
“Emotionally [I] had a bit of an average week just the other week, [it] just felt like the typical when it rains, it pours sort of thing and nothing went my way. But that didn’t last too long and the support of the girls [has helped].
She spoke about how she’s found living in Sydney and how she’s enjoying the lifestyle.
“Sydney is gorgeous, you wake up and it’s warm weather, [the] views, the sunsets and sunrises, it’s just those things, and being near the ocean is really soothing for me,” she said.
“[In that respect] Sydney literally had my name written all over it and I’ve loved my time up here so far.
“I can’t believe it’s only been a month and a half because like I feel like I’ve been here for ages, the transition has been difficult but it was manageable because there is a lot of resources around me and a lot of the girls had to do it last year in a smaller time frame.
“They all kind of get it and we just lean on each other and if you are having a day, the girls get it so I couldn’t have any more support around me but it doesn’t mean I don’t have my days but I’ve loved it.”
Looking at the start of her AFLW career and the impact that she had at Collingwood, it is clear that it was difficult for Molloy to leave the Magpies. She spoke more about the relationship she has with her now-former teammates and the club itself.
“It was definitely one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my sporting career and just generally in my 24 years as well,” Molloy commented.
“I can only name two hard decisions I’ve had to make, one was to not go over to [the United States to go to] college [for basketball] and then the one to leave Collingwood.
“I’ve been a Collingwood supporter my whole life, loved the football club, have always grown up supporting them and have my best mates playing for the club.
“I had to sit across from people that I’ve worked alongside for six years, that’s including players [and] staff at the pies and tell them I wanted to leave.
“They all just want the best for me so as much as it was one of the hardest things, it was also made the easiest which was [due] to the relationships I’d formed and I’m pretty proud of the fact that I left the football club and they still want the best for me.
“I will cherish the years that I had at Collingwood and I’ve made some of my best mates there and they will be friends for life.”
Starting out at a new club, especially coming off an off-season injury can be challenging but for Molloy, her individual and team goals for the season are crystal clear.
“For me, I’m in rehab at the minute, so a focus for me is to get my body right so I can give all I can to the team,” she said.
“I want to come over here and I want to impact this group because they are just like sponges, they just want to know and they just want to learn. I’m fortunate, I’ve got six years of AFLW experience behind me and [the girls] are just really eager to learn off anyone.
“I kind of want to be that figure that they can come to and they can bounce ideas off me, but physically, I want to be out on the track, I’m a competitor, I love training, I love competing and we get to do that out on the track but I’m in rehab so I can’t do that at the moment to the capacity that I want to.”
Molloy looks at her new team’s credentials, their first season and describes their focus and goals for Season Eight.
“When you look at the record, we didn’t win a game but coming into this year, we’ve really had to focus on not worrying about the first win,” Molloy said.
“We want long term success not short term success, we are [looking not to just get] one win and then celebrate as if we’ve achieved greatness, we kind of want to prove to the league that we are a team that can compete with the others.
“[This] might take a bit of time, but we are prepared because internally we’re doing all the work, we’ve been getting up for early morning sessions and [have] been going since December to try and bridge that gap between Sydney and the rest of the teams in the league.”
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When discussing the reasons for making the move to the Swans, Molloy’s personal development and her evolution as a leader came to mind. She is a player with much experience in the league coming to a team that was very young last season.
“A big point and emphasis through the process to come over here was that I’d fitted the mould of who they wanted, I was fortunate enough that they looked at me and I was someone that they wanted to come across and kind of be that player for this side,” she explained.
“That was definitely something that Kate [Mahony] (Executive General Manager) and Scott [Gowans] (head coach) pitched and as much as it’s the mould that they want, I’ve just got to live up to that and try [to] just make my way into the team.
“[I’ve got to] not come in just thinking I’m going to come into the team and I’m going to fix everything because that’s not the mindset to come in with, it’s to come in, be part of the culture and build upon that.”
Currently having 47 games under her belt for Collingwood, Molloy has two very exciting milestones in the distance, her Swans club debut and her 50th league match. Although those will be great milestones, while still finding her feet through rehab at the Swans, she is just focused on paying her role and being a contributor.
“Honestly I have not even thought that far ahead, I think when you get to a milestone like [50 games played] it is a moment of reflection [and] to be honest it’s probably going to make me feel a bit old because a lot of the ‘Swanny’ girls are in single digits for games played,” Molloy noted.
“It’s an absolute honour and I don’t want to be overawed [on the day], at the end of the day it’s another game and I will celebrate the small personal milestone with my loved ones and the girls here.
“But it’s a team sport and yes an individual 50th game is [worth celebrating] and that, I just think it’s another game of footy and it’s just [a] ‘get out there [and] get the win’ [mentality].
“I think I’ll reflect probably more on it after we’ve got the win with the Swans and if I can get to the fifty, touch wood. But I think ask me the same question again after it’s been played and I’ll probably be a bit more emotional.”
With so winning so many individual accolades at her time at the Pies, Molloy’s proudest moment has been the grace in which she has left her former side. Having ‘no bad blood’, she says that she has truly made the move in the best way possible, leaving friendships intact.
“I think honestly what makes me the most proud at the moment is probably the way I was traded from Collingwood to Sydney, because a lot of the time, like I said you can kind of burn some bridges and there were no bridges burned,” Molloy beamed.
“I do like to credit myself a bit because the relationships that I’d been able to form on either side, more on the side of Collingwood. They are still rooting for me and I’m proud that I went about the trade the way I did and was able to talk to people at Collingwood and as much as they were some of the hardest conversations to have.
“I will still walk away calling those people friends and I just don’t think every athlete has that opportunity.
“That’s something that’s made me the most proud is the person that I was, meaning that despite the big move leaving Collingwood, the club I grew up supporting to come pursue a dream at Sydney, I still have friends and can call them good mates of mine.”
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