Kildare-born striker Cody Mulhall was one of Pat Fenlon’s brightest young prospects when he joined Hibernian FC in 2013. Having left Stella Maris in the Irish junior football set-up, the Under-19 international was settling in brilliantly in Edinburgh, even travelling with the first-team to a match with St. Johnstone. Unfortunately, for the 18 year-old, he was hit with a devastating injury, leaving him sidelined for almost a whole year.
After making a comeback at the beginning of this season, Mulhall was told he was surplus to requirements at Easter Road. Young Perspective spoke exclusively to Cody directly after Shamrock Rovers, with whom he is on trial, lost 1-0 to LA Galaxy , and he detailed his disappointment with the decision. “I was disappointed with the way it ended because I hadn’t got back fully fit. I was out for a year with an injury so it was obviously difficult to get back fit, but I wasn’t far off it and then I got the news. It’s better to get it early rather than wait until the Summer. So I have a chance to hopefully go back across the water or stay here and play with Shamrock Rovers under Pat [Fenlon].”
Mulhall’s situation bears a considerable resemblance to his former team-mate Jason Cummings, who was released following a similar injury by Hibs’ neighbours and rivals Heart of Midlothian. The Irish youngster admitted that he had talked about the situation with the Scottish Championship’s top scorer and received some good advice. “He just said work hard, get fit and go and prove them wrong. That’s what it’s about isn’t it? He’s proved Hearts wrong. My objective now is to be a professional footballer and prove that Hibs have made the wrong choice by letting me go. I’m hoping to kick start my career now, hopefully with the help of Pat Fenlon.”
When we caught up with Pat Fenlon, he seemed optimistic about the former Hibernian striker, saying that “his quality is still there” despite the lay-off. The former Hibernian and Bohemians boss also said that he would be “delighted” to have Mulhall if an offer didn’t come from the UK. That being said, the former Stella Maris player seems content to develop at Tallaght Stadium. “I feel in the League of Ireland the standard has come up a lot since a couple of years back. I obviously feel that I want to go back across and I want to prove that I’m good enough. I’m confident in myself, but obviously Pat’s here as well, and he brought me across first and he had confidence in me, and he believed in me. I know if I stay here that that could be the same as well. He’ll give me first-team experience here. That’s what it’s about as well; playing first-team football.
“Obviously I’ll be thinking about it [signing permanently at Shamrock Rovers], and he’ll try to persuade me! But if an offer comes across the water I have got to go. It’s a different league. It’s a different level and that’s the level I want to play at.”
As an aspiring Irish international, who has been capped a number of times at under-age level, Mulhall is very grateful to not only have the opportunity to be back playing and training full-time with Shamrock Rovers, but also to work alongside senior internationals Keith Fahey and Stephen McPhail. Collectively, the pair have 26 senior caps, a feat Cody would no-doubt like to one day emulate. “It’s brilliant. You can see the standard. When they’re playing, they trust you. It’s not ‘because you’re younger we’re not passing the ball’. They believe in you and they obviously bring your standards up as well, because of their standards. You don’t see them give away the ball and it’s always positive. It’s brilliant playing alongside them.”
Image: © faungg’s photo.
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