Unforgettable journey for Thomas Moylan09.05.2018
Ireland’s rising star ready to shine at wheelchair rugby Worlds
For the first time in its history, Ireland has qualified for the IWRF World Championship.
The Irish team will head to Sydney, Australia, to take on the world’s best line-ups from 5-10 August, with a rising star of the sport firmly in its ranks.
Thomas Moylan burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old and has now helped lead his country to its highest point, as they took out the recent IWRF World Championship qualifying event in Nottwil, Switzerland.
“I've been a part of the starting line up since I was 16, so in many ways my responsibilities haven't changed. Although, I have now been around for a while and I see it as my responsibility to help and teach others more so than before.”
Now 19, the 3.5-classified player has become one of the team’s most experienced members and will be a huge factor in Ireland’s success at the worlds.
“It's a great feeling. I have been away for a while with medical complications, but getting to come back and qualify was truly something I'll never forget,” Moylan said.
“We were confident that we could qualify for sure, but I think it was only after the first game where we really realised that we could win the whole thing.
“I was surprisingly not too nervous; I had been playing rugby in the states with Texas Stampede so I was mostly ready for it.
“I learned a lot there and it definitely helped when it came time for the qualifiers.”
Moylan said it has been an advantage to be around the team from such a young age.
“We managed to build a chemistry and understanding of how each other plays, that it makes every game easier,” Moylan said.
“Also, for me personally, it has allowed me to gain a lot of confidence in what I am doing on court at all times.
“I've been a part of the starting line up since I was 16, so in many ways my responsibilities haven't changed.
“Although, I have now been around for a while and I see it as my responsibility to help and teach others more so than before.”
Three years on from his debut, Moylan admits he is a much smarter player
“I’m staying back, using the other players, picks and low-pointers much more,” he said.
“Having my legs amputated lowered my top speed just a little, at least until I get a chair that fits better, and this forced me to slow down and really look at what I was going to do before I did it.
“I've really learned that it's all about the team.
“You can't focus on one individual, because if one person has to carry everyone, then the team isn't working well together.
“But when everyone comes together, knows what they're doing and trusts each other, you can't ask for much more.”
The Irish team are going to take each game as it comes in Sydney and don’t want to get ahead of themselves.
“I think for us, we would love to medal but we know our own limits,” Moylan said.
“We've just qualified. There's plenty of time for all that. Now we just need to use this as a stepping stone for the future. I think it would be realistic and a good result to finish in the sixth to eighth range.”
Ireland have been drawn in Pool A where they will take on Paralympic and world champions Australia, as well as Japan, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark.