IN JUST his 23rd game of senior footy, Brent Moloney was running around in a Preliminary Final for the Cats.
He was a highly touted midfielder, and at 20 years of age, was looking to be a long-term player in a talented Geelong outfit.
But little did he know, a trade was just around the corner.
And at first, he was opposed to the idea.
“I was really happy at Geelong,” Moloney said on The Off-Season.
“I was up in Noosa at the time, we were on a little footy trip there … and I got a phone call from my manager at that time and he said, ‘Do you want to get traded?’
“I said, ‘Nah not at all. I just played in a Preliminary Final – we’re going to be pretty successful I think.’”
There were a few clubs interested in securing Moloney’s services, but none appealed to the powerful right footer.
That is, until the team he had barracked for his whole life came calling.
“I said, ‘OK Melbourne – I’ll speak to Melbourne.’
“That was the only club I wanted to speak to.
“My manager called me back and he said, ‘Neale Daniher is flying up the next day.’”
And as you could imagine, with a career defining move on the line, a young Moloney was pretty nervous for this catch-up at the Noosa Surf Club.
“The Big Reverend was flying up the next day, Neale Daniher – he was like a godfather to Melbourne supporters,” Moloney said.
“We had our first beer together; he bought the first round – he sculled his first beer.
“I was just sipping away, sipping away, and he goes, ‘Right, your shout.’
“He sort of broke the ice with us and he said, ‘Right, you’re starting in the middle Round 1,’ and I said, “Beautiful mate, I’ll come over.’
“We shook hands and the rest is history and I got to live my boyhood dream.”
Moloney spent the next eight seasons donning the red and blue, playing 122 games and claiming the Best and Fairest award in 2011.
And while he will always be remembered as a Demon, unfortunately his career ended elsewhere.
“It was the hardest decision of my life,” he said.
“I love the club – I was fully entrenched.
“I was vice-captain, in the leadership group for a number of years, loved the playing group, loved the people around the footy club.
“It was a tough decision, but I felt personally, myself and Mark (Neeld), for some reason, didn’t get along and I felt I had better opportunities elsewhere.
“It was just a decision that I had to make and it was unfortunate that I had to leave the club that I love.”
Moloney utilised his rights as a free agent to join Brisbane in 2012, but that hasn’t changed his passion for the Dees.
“I’ll always be a Melbourne supporter … so there’s no bad blood there at all,” Moloney said.
While he still lives in Queensland, he is a Melbourne person through and through, and the relationships he made along the way are something he will cherish forever.
“It’s a brotherhood – we’ll always have that connection,” he said.
“Even though we didn’t get the success we wanted to in a premiership, we’ll always be best mates.”
Watch below as Moloney reflects on his stellar career on Episode 3 of The Off-Season.