Grace Moloney

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Grace Moloney
Personal information
Date of birth (1993-03-01) 1 March 1993 (age 29)
Place of birth Slough, England[1]
Height 170 cm (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Reading
Number 1
Youth career
Slough Juniors
Reading
QPR
Reading
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009– Reading 92 (0)
2016Aston Villa (loan)
National team
2010–2011 Ireland U17[3] 8 (0)
2011–2012 Ireland U19[3] 6 (0)
2016– Ireland 5 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 00:22, 24 September 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 00:22, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

Grace Moloney (born 1 March 1993) is a professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for the Republic of Ireland national team[4] and FA WSL club Reading.[5][6]

In 2010 aged 15, she was called up to the Republic of Ireland women's national football team under 15's, later playing for the under 17s and under 19's squads.[7]

In June 2016 she joined Aston Villa on loan.[8][9][10]

Early life[edit]

Moloney was born on 1 March 1993 in Slough, Berkshire to Bill Moloney. Her paternal grandfather is from County Tipperary and paternal grandmother from County Cavan.[11]

She is a life-long fan of Queens Park Rangers (her family team), a team she moved to from Reading during her youth career, later moving back due to the facilities available to allow her to pursue her sport at an international level.[12] Her father Bill, her self-confessed number one fan, travels to all her international games.[7]

Club career[edit]

Moloney played for Reading in the second-division FA WSL 2 during the 2015 FA WSL season. She helped the team win the league and signed a professional contract with the team ahead of the 2016 season in the FAWSL 1.[13] When Reading subsequently signed Mary Earps, Moloney was largely restricted to playing in the FA Women's League Cup. Although she had a good relationship with Earps,[14] Moloney was unhappy about being dropped and joined Aston Villa on loan in June 2016.[15]

In April 2019 Moloney signed a new contract with Reading. She had re-established herself as the first choice goalkeeper and helped the club reach the FA Women's Cup semi-final, which they lost to West Ham United on a penalty shootout.[16] Reading recognised Moloney's 150th appearance for the club with a presentation before a 1–0 2019–20 FA Women's League Cup defeat by West Ham in November 2019.[17] She signed another two-year contract extension with Reading in February 2021.[18]

On 6 March 2022, Moloney made her 200th appearance for Reading.[19]

International career[edit]

Youth[edit]

In 2010, Moloney was a key member of the Republic of Ireland U-17 squad[20] who were runners-up in the 2010 UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship and quarter-finalists in the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.[21][22] At the FAI International Football Awards she was named 2011 Under-19 Women's International Player of the Year.[23]

Senior[edit]

Moloney was included in the senior Republic of Ireland women's national football team for the first time in August 2010, for a friendly against the Netherlands, followed by 2011 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures against Russia and Israel.[24] She returned to the senior squad as the third goalkeeper for the 2014 Cyprus Cup, but had to make a late withdrawal after she injured her back while training with Reading.[25]

On 5 May 2014, Republic of Ireland women's national football team manager Susan Ronan named Moloney in an experimental squad for a friendly against the Basque Country.[26] Moloney replaced Eve Badana at half-time to play the second half of Ireland's 2–0 defeat in Azpeitia, which was not classified as a full international fixture.[27]

Moloney won her first senior cap at the 2016 Cyprus Cup, playing the full match in Ireland's opening 2–0 defeat by Austria.[28] Despite the result, the Football Association of Ireland's website praised Moloney's "assured performance", while she expressed pride and delight at achieving her longstanding ambition of playing for Ireland at senior level.[29] In August 2016 Ronan called up Moloney to a young and predominantly home-based senior squad for a training camp in Wales.[30][31] She played in the first of two challenge matches against the Welsh hosts, a 0–0 draw at Rodney Parade in Newport.[32]

Colin Bell replaced Sue Ronan as Ireland's coach in February 2017 and he soon installed Marie Hourihan as the long-term goalkeeping successor to Emma Byrne,[33] believing Moloney to be too small.[34] On 9 October 2018, Moloney played in Ireland's 4–0 friendly defeat by Poland in Ostróda, coming on for Hourihan at half-time.[35]

Moloney was given her first competitive appearance in an important UEFA Women's Euro 2022 qualifier against Germany at Tallaght Stadium on 1 December 2020. She won the confidence of coach Vera Pauw due to her improved form at club level with Reading. Despite Ireland's 3–1 defeat Moloney's performance was hailed as "fantastic" by Pauw.[11]

In an interview with RTÉ Sport in April 2021, Moloney confirmed her admiration for Emma Byrne:[36]

When Emma Byrne was playing, I wanted to be in every camp with her. I wanted to take her spot, whether that dream was way too big for me, I didn't care. I remember coming back from the World Cup with the Under-17s and at the airport Emma gave me a pair of her goalie gloves. My dad picked me up and I said to him: 'Dad, you'll never believe what Emma Byrne has just given me'. They were a pair of gloves that she had for five years, but to me it was the best thing ever."

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 1 March 2022[3]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Reading 2014 FA WSL 1 0 1 0
2015 6 0 6 0
2016 4 0 0 0 4 0
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017–18 4 0 6 0 10 0
2018–19 20 0 4 0 3 0 27 0
2019–20 10 0 1 0 1 0 12 0
2020–21 22 0 1 0 2 0 25 0
2021–22 19 0 0 0 3 0 22 0
Total 79 0 6 0 22 0 107 0
Career total 79 0 6 0 22 0 107 0

Honours[edit]

Association football[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meet the Reading FC Ladies". The Tilehurst End. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Republic of Ireland Squad List". FIFA. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Republic of Ireland - G. Moloney - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway". uk.soccerway.com. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Ireland women beaten by Austria in Cyprus Cup". The Irish Times. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Reading women: Grace Moloney and Becky Jane sign pro deals". BBC Sport. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  6. ^ Leadbeater, Chloe (23 June 2016). "Reading loan out Moloney and Estcourt". Vavel. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  7. ^ a b AVFC Official (30 July 2016). "The Big Interview: Ladies keeper Moloney on Villa, support and Ireland hopes". Aston Villa Football Club. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  8. ^ "TRANSFER NEWS: Royals agree short-term loan moves for Estcourt & Moloney". reading.fawsl.com. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Hunt on London Bees and new additions". ladies.avfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  10. ^ "FA WSL 1 Summer transfer window 2016". mywomensfootball.wordpress.com. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b Duffy, Emma (2 December 2020). "'It was a huge honour' - Ireland's Reading 'keeper a shining light on disappointing night". The42. Dublin: TheJournal.ie. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Interview with Grace Moloney - Reading WFC". thefootysite.com. 4 January 2016. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Reading women: Grace Moloney and Becky Jane sign pro deals". BBC Sport. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  14. ^ Crocker, Tom (10 November 2017). "Grace Moloney says loan spell made her appreciate how good life is at Reading Women". The Wokingham Paper. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  15. ^ Church, Daniel (10 September 2016). "Grace Moloney "to consider" leaving Reading after 13 years to stay in Ireland contention". Shoot (football magazine). Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  16. ^ "Grace Moloney: Reading FC Women goalkeeper extends contract". BBC Sport. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  17. ^ Canning, Tom (6 November 2019). "Reading Women beaten as Grace Moloney recognised". Football in Bracknell. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  18. ^ "Grace Moloney: Reading goalkeeper agrees two-year contract extension". BBC Sport. 16 February 2021. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  19. ^ "CHAMBERS "OUR PERFORMANCE DESERVED MORE". readingfc.co.uk/. Reading F.C. 7 March 2022. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Women's U17 Player Profiles". Football Association of Ireland. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  21. ^ "King announces 21 player squad for FIFA U17 World Cup". Football Association of Ireland. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Republic of Ireland – Squad List". FIFA. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  23. ^ "2012 Three FAI International Award Winners Announced". fai.ie. FAI. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  24. ^ "Ronan Selects Irish Squad". She Kicks. 15 August 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Quinn heads to Cyprus Cup on a high". She Kicks. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  26. ^ "Ronan names squad for Basque friendly". Extratime.ie. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Ireland lXI [sic] beaten by experienced Basque side". Football Association of Ireland. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Defeat for Ireland in Cyprus Cup opener". Football Association of Ireland. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  29. ^ "Debut was perfect birthday present for Moloney". Football Association of Ireland. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  30. ^ Blake, Ben (17 August 2016). "Youth given a chance to impress as 9 new faces named in Ireland senior women's squad". The42.ie. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Sue Ronan names Wales training camp squad". Football Association of Ireland. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  32. ^ "Young Ireland hold Wales in stalemate". Football Association of Ireland. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  33. ^ Blake, Ben (27 November 2017). "'It didn't feel like there was a decision to be made because I have an attachment with Ireland'". The 42. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  34. ^ Ryan, Larry (25 February 2021). "Grace Moloney on improvement and the Ireland dream: 'When the national anthem was playing, I could feel my eyes welling up'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  35. ^ "Ireland WNT: Four second-half goals ensure Poland defeat". FAI.ie. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  36. ^ McMahon, James (6 April 2021). "Moloney: Playing for Ireland means the absolute world". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ Television Centre: Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  37. ^ "2012 Three FAI International Award Winners Announced | Football Association of Ireland". Football Association of Ireland. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  38. ^ "Supporting Reading FC Women - Infosec Cloud". Infosec Cloud. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2017.

External links[edit]