‘Necessitated Change’: The Reasons Behind Chloe Molloy’s Departure from Collingwood
AFLW sensation Chloe Molloy is feeling somewhat out of place at the Swans. This feeling, strangely enough, confirms her decision to leave Collingwood.
In the previous season, the beloved Magpies player decided to fly the nest and embark on a five-year adventure in Sydney, a move that marked the longest contract in the history of the competition and arguably the most significant trade of the off-season.
During the priority sign and trade period, where the four newest teams in the competition – Sydney, Essendon, Hawthorn, and Port Adelaide – were allowed to acquire players without going through the trade process, the Swans managed to secure the services of the 24-year-old club best-and-fairest winner. Molloy, a two-time All Australian and Rising Star recipient, arrived in Sydney under special permission, as her deal exceeded the typical contract length that other teams could offer.
Molloy asserts that there is no trace of ill will or animosity between her and her former team.
“I reflect on the person I was at Collingwood, and I was content. I was playing exceptional football, representing the club I grew up adoring, and playing alongside some of my closest friends,” she expressed.
“However, I believe that, for my personal growth and Collingwood’s evolution, change was essential.”
While at the Magpies, she was a well-established player, settled into her routine, and seeking to spread her wings, metaphorically speaking. Joining the Swans provided her with an opportunity to contribute to the culture of the new team and carry the younger players on her shoulders.
“It has certainly pushed me beyond my comfort zone, but in a positive way. I’ve discovered new facets of my leadership because I had to,” Molloy remarked.
“It has been one of the most rewarding challenges thus far, and it’s only been a few months. So, I can only imagine what the next few years will bring… At no point have I ever regretted my decision or wished I hadn’t made the move.”
Molloy is set to face her former team in a crucial game at Henson Park this weekend, a match that the Swans are also using to celebrate a Pride round at home.
It was always going to be a big storyline when the high-profile goalkicker faced Collingwood for the first time.
But add into the mix that both teams are chasing a spot in finals with two rounds to go – the Swans a surprise bolter after going winless last season, and there’s even more on the line.
“[It’s a] crucial game for us if we want to make finals and even the fact that I’m saying the word finals after last season, the side wasn’t able to produce a win,” Molloy said. “So, it’s going to be fun coming up against Collingwood.”
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In her first game in the red and white, Molloy captained the Swans to their historic first AFLW win against Greater Western Sydney in the derby and helped turn the tide of success at the club. The Swans now sit 4-4 and within the race for a top-eight spot after going winless last year.
Molloy has had a huge influence on the Swans’ sharp rise. She’s kicked nine goals in eight games and last weekend set a record for score involvements in an AFLW game with 17 – along with three goals, 11 marks and 28 touches – in her side’s 57-point thrashing of the Western Bulldogs.
Given the season she’s had and her ability to turn games on their head, she’s been the target of opposition players more than ever this year. If she is to receive more attention on Sunday, she’s prepared for it.
“I think probably got more attention in the past six rounds now I have ever had in my career. Look, if they want to send a tag to me, that’s fine,” said Molloy.
She also knows it’s a game many avid AFLW fans, particularly Sydney and Collingwood supporters, circled at the start of the season.
“I’m like, that’s going to be an incredible game to watch. You’re watching Chloe Molloy take on her old side. I know in the news was it was one of the biggest trades in the off-season,” she said.
“So, if I was an AFLW fan, or someone who had a keen eye on it, I would definitely be tuning in to the game just to see what unfolds.”