As 2018 ends, we get to know our manager that bit more in this latest edition of “Who are ya?” We find out where his love of the game started and look back at his playing days. He also looks ahead to the Poole Town game on New Years Day.
John Pritchard: How did your love of football begin?
Mark Molesley: Chasing the football around on the playground and in the streets and then my mum saw an advert for a team in local paper. She drove me down but we couldn’t find it! Think she could tell how gutted I was and at the local rec there was some lads playing so she asked if I could join in. They were older than me but let me play and I had my first training session with Ruislip Rangers where I first started and never looked back!
JP: Great story, nice to hear your mum was really keen to get you started! What a career you have had! When you were playing, did you have any superstitions before or during games and do you have any now when managing?
MM: Nothing too deep but when we win, I try to keep a similar routine. Tom Prodomo has to hand me a paper and pen before we play, he always has one ready for me and Gosport at home, he didn’t!
JP: What made you join the Terras as a player and then take over as manager? Is there something in particular you like about our club?
MM: From the times I have played against Weymouth, I was always taken back by the passion of the fans and the size of the club! I decided to retire from full time to start coaching in the academy at AFC Bournemouth and still wanted to play so was fortunate enough Weymouth wanted to take me. It’s funny, one of my fondest memories of playing as a youngster was playing in a tournament in Weymouth in which we stayed down in a caravan park and we won the tournament! I’ve still got the vhs where one of the dads filmed it!
JP: With last week being Dorchester and now onto Poole, is there anything different you do to prepare for these local Derby matches?
MM: No nothing different at all. We prepare for every game in the same fashion and give the next game our utmost attention. This league challenges you every week and we always ask ourselves the same question “how can we be better?” I’m very lucky that I have a great back room staff who share the same passion and vision as myself and they want to constantly improve.
JP: Definitely, from top to bottom this league is very competitive! Who is the most underrated player you have played with or against?
MM: So many players I have played with are often underrated or don’t quite get the headlines they deserve. Saying that, these players are always well respected in the changing room and I think that’s one of the best accolades you can receive in the game, respect of your teammates. Shaun Cooper who I work with at AFCB springs to mind, technically very good, reads the game, never gave the ball away! He wasn’t the typical centre half stature wise which showed what a clever footballer he was to play there.
JP: Who is the best joker you have come across in football? From previous teams you have played for or even in the current Terras team and what makes them the best?
MM: I’m lucky that I have played with some real characters over my football career and I was lucky to start my career at Hayes who were in the Conference at the time under Terry Brown. I played amongst some real men then, hard as nails and enjoyed a drink too! The game has moved on a lot since then with the introduction of sports science! My old car school at Aldershot was a laugh a minute with Dan Thomas, Joe Oastler and Brett Williams who was daft as a brush! The biggest joker has to be Warren Cummings at AFCB who never went a day without making you laugh or being up to mischief! But like I said, I have been so fortunate to have been in some great teams with great characters and again like the underrated players, there are too many to mention!
JP: Is there a football moment you can never forget and always remember?
MM: There’s a few! My first senior debut/pro debut and league debut. Representing England C. Winning League 2 with AFCB but it has to be the great escape in my first season with AFCB. We had a points deduction, and we were in administration when Eddie Howe took over New Year’s Day. Nobody gave us a hope, but we survived against all the odds.
JP: What a CV that is! Moving on from football, who is your favourite artist or band to listen too?
MM: I like a broad variety of music! I’ve seen Oasis live many times and they were my favourite band! I also love a bit of Motown and 80’s too! I’m a bit old school, I’m into the older stuff rather than the new rubbish that the lads play before a game now! But I can take most music!
JP: Who would you choose to play you in a movie?
MM: Good question! It would certainly be an action movie with a bit of comedy, so I would say a cross between Matt Damon and Will Ferrell!
JP: Both brilliant actors! And the last question, a new question I want to add into the series. How do you want to be remembered?
MM: Someone who gave his all for his family.
JP: Mark you’ve been an absolute gentleman. Thank you ever so much for your time! Been a pleasure! Hope to see you in the new year. Up the Terras!
MM: No problem. Happy New Year. Up the Terras!