Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Mark McCadden

Jayson Molumby on the youthful link-up that 'caused havoc' against Scotland

There aren't many senior international sides that can boast a spine with an average age of just 21-and-a-half - and then hammer a higher ranked opponent.

But that’s what happened in Dublin on Saturday evening.

The inclusion of Jayson Molumby meant Ireland started with six players - in a straight line from one goal to the other - under the age of 23.

For context, it’s the biggest win against a team ranked above the Boys in Green since October 1989, when Jack Charlton’s side saw off Northern Ireland on their way to Italia ‘90.

The spine of that side was stacked with experience - Bonner, McCarthy, Moran, Whelan, Houghton, Aldridge…

Steve Staunton was the youngest starter on that day at just 20 years of age. Everyone else was in their mid-to-late-20s or early 30s.

Two of Ireland’s goals on Saturday were scored by players aged 20 (Troy Parrott) and 21 (Michael Obafemi).

Ireland’s Michael Obafemi celebrates with Jayson Molumby (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

Considering the youthfulness of this side, maybe it’s reasonable to expect a little inconsistency along the way, without losing the head altogether.

‘Trust the process’, as one supporter displayed on a homemade sign, which he carried with him to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Consider too that Gavin Bazunu (20), Mark Travers (23), Dara O’Shea (23), Udinese-bound Festy Ebosele (19), Andrew Omobamidele (19), Adam Idah (21) and Aaron Connolly (22) didn’t feature on Saturday for one reason or another.

And then there are Ireland’s Under-21 heroes, who could be 90 minutes away from a first ever European qualification with a play-off spot already in the bag.

Molumby is excited about the potential of this generation.

“We’re not stupid, we know it wasn’t good enough, Armenia especially. I think to a man it wasn’t good enough,” he said of Ireland’s latest Nations League campaign.

“Maybe we picked up a bit better against Ukraine, more intensity, the first 20 against Ukraine the intensity was good, maybe the quality was missing.

“But [against Scotland] it just clicked, to a man we gave 100 percent. I thought we deserved a win, maybe by more.

“I think it was just the intensity, the passion, the commitment was there for everyone.”

That intensity and energy was driven on Saturday by the youthful Molumby and Knight in midfield, and by goal heroes Parrott and Obafemi up front.

“Me and Knighty there, we were fully committed, there was a lot of energy between both of us and we went out there and caused havoc,” said Molumby.

Meanwhile, the more experienced heads provided an emotional balance and maturity whenever Scotland threatened to put their hosts under the cosh.

But it’s not just those on the pitch that are contributing to the development of this exciting young side.

“The staff work tirelessly behind the scenes,” West Brom ace Molumby said.

“It’s been a bit doom and gloom around the camp, but the staff, there are some amazing people behind the scenes.

“They are picking everyone up and making sure there are smiles on the lads faces so it is a credit to them as well.

“It’s all of them. The masseuses, everyone, the chef, there are amazing people working behind the scenes who are incredible, keeping the good vibes around the place.

“It’s not easy, you know, you’re away from your family and friends, but they’re amazing people.”

Such an atmosphere has helped Molumby be patient, before he won his 13th senior cap on Saturday.

“Look, the gaffer has been amazing for me. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, with the 21s and calling me up and giving me an international debut,” he said.

“And then obviously I was coming in and the midfielders were playing well, Jeff [Hendrick], Josh [Cullen], Conor [Hourihane] and Browney [Alan Browne].

“We got good results against Belgium and Portugal and stuff so that obviously impacts on that, and you have to be patient.

“Everyone in the team will get their chance, there are four games in such a short space of time so you have to be ready.

“I was happy to get my chance against Scotland.”

Molumby’s performance on Saturday makes him a serious contender to start again tomorrow against Ukraine.

Then he has a short break, before returning for pre-season at West Brom.

A successful loan spell with the Baggies last season earned him a permanent move from Brighton, where he made just five first-team appearances.

“Overall I thought I did decent. When I played, I did alright. You need a run of games and I got that towards the end of the season,” said the Waterford native.

“I don’t have much time off after this. But I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else apart from representing my country.”

Get the latest sports headlines straight to your inbox by signing up for free email alerts

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.