We might not have any football for the next six weeks but we caught up with midfielder Lee Molyneux about his football journey, transition to semi pro football and the current Covid-19 crisis.
When Lee Molyneux put pen to paper with the Lakesiders last summer, it was a huge coup for the JD Cymru Premier with another ex Football League player making the switch over to Welsh football.
“My 1st club was actually Wrexham! And we trained at Colliers Park where we do now, funny how life works. I was there from the ages of 7-9 and then scouted for Everton playing for my local school boys” Lee began when asked about his football journey.
“I stayed there till 19 where I was a pro and moved to Southampton where I made my professional debut I the championship against Barnsley at Oakwell in January 2009. I then went on to play for Plymouth, Accrington Stanley, Crewe, Rochdale, Tranmere, Morecambe and Barrow. Before coming to Bala Town. So I’ve definitely been around the block.”
By joining the Town Lee made the transition from professional football to semi-pro which has been quite the change to his life.
“Yes it’s the first time I had come out of professional football. The first time I felt a change was travelling on the day of a game down to Barry Town. We have been used to travelling down the night before. That’s when I realised how tough part time lads actually are and how strong there mindset is.”
He elaborated “I always knew last season would be my last playing full time as I was ready to transition into the next part of my life and start my business up personal training and becoming a strength and conditioning coach. It allows me to do both things I love. I still love playing but also love the other side to the game as well. I’m loving it.”
With the evolutution of modern football, conditioning and nutrition has become a key area and this has been replicated at Maes Tegid with Molyenux taking charge at the start of the pre-match warm-ups and bringing in his expertise to the Town squad. So how important has conditioning become in the modern game even at this level?
“Yes it’s massive. Listen nothing will ever replicate playing football. You get stronger , fitter and sharper by actually playing the sport you play. But the game has changed from 10-15 years ago. No players really drink anymore. Everyone is watching their nutrition” Lee stated.
“Most are understanding that you need to be the best athlete you can be to make the football side easier. The tempo of the game has gone up massively. You might not see the same challenges and refs are a lot less lenient but the atheletism side has gone up 10 fold! You need to be quick, fit, strong and be able to still pass and play. It will
Keep going that way too” he added.
This has also led to Moly working on a one-to-one basis with teammates Nathan and Jonny which has improved their game this season. He tells us that it’s more down to their mindsets than specific work.
“Being honest I’ve tried to install a mindset within the group which is “even though we aren’t fulltime footballers, you can work like one”.
“Ok, so we don’t get as much football as the full time sides but what you can do is work hard away from the training ground. Becoming disciplined with your nutrition and also keeping fitness levels up, following a injury prevention programme, working on stuff that will help your game.
He continued “The lads have been massively on board with it all. The lads themselves have felt so much better for it and can feel it on the pitch. It’s always hard to be able to bridge the gap with TNS and Connah’s Quay but what we can do is control the controllable and keep yourself fit, sharp and strong so come the weekend we are in a prime position to win a game of football.”
As we are all aware, the current Covid-19 situation is unprecedented for us all with no football planned for almost two months. So as players how do will they adapt to the situation and how keep fit and healthy ready for the restart?
“I’d say first and foremost, health will always be number one. Without our health none of us would be playing football, working. So I think it should really humble us and make us realise that health is indeed wealth.”
“So my advice would be to follow all guidelines set. Stay positive that we will be ok and think of the less fortunate. I would say again control the controlables. Put the right nutrition in your body, stay well hydrated, keep your home clean. Home workouts can be done when everything else is in place. Once it passes then we can start to make a plan with regaining football fitness” Molyneux commented.
Lee who is an incredibly positive individual had a closing message to the Town faithful for the next couple of weeks.
“All I can say is don’t let fear rule your head too much. Try not to watch too much television or read too much negative things on social media. Our grandparents and great grandparents survived a war. We aren’t getting asked to go out and fight a war but to stay at home”
“We are lucky to have the internet. Read some books. Take some naps. Eat some healthy food. Don’t over indulge in supermarkets and most of all keep your mind positive. Things will blow over in time I’m sure. I can’t wait for when we all get back together at Maes Tegid and we’ll be as hungry as ever to be so fortunate to play football. Stay safe everyone and see you all soon 💙” Lee concluded.