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Molloy demands Derry's dynamos light up the Aviva

IT'S a common grumble from the people of Derry, that the only way to get acknowledged is to leave the place.

In the last year, a batch of ex-Derry men have played in the English Premier League and the SPL as well as the World Cup qualifiers, but back home the current crop of Derry City players toddle along, beyond the spotlight and only get praise when -- like James McClean -- they burst onto the scene on another setting.

"We don't get the credit we deserved up here, I have been here for eight years now and I certainly feel that," says Derry's long-serving midfielder Barry Molloy (right) ahead of tomorrow's FAI Cup final meeting with St Patrick's Athletic.

"Whether it's a thing with the media or the FAI or the IFA in terms of picking players for Northern Ireland I don't know, but a lot of good players have come out of Derry in the last few years. Lads like James McClean, Paddy McCourt, Niall McGinn, Daniel Lafferty and Eamon Zayed have all gone on to the senior international teams, Conor Sammon went and played in the Premier League in England as well, and that shouldn't be ignored.

"People like Stephen Kenny, Declan Devine and Paul Hegarty deserve great credit for making all that happen, those players have come from a low level and gone to the top.

"I know we have players in our squad who are capable of playing at a higher level, they could play in the SPL or in the English Premier League or maybe even play for Ireland, they are top talents and they can't be ignored. "They have shown this year in the league and in the cup what they can do and tomorrow is a great stage for them for the wider world to see them."

Given their form in the Derry side this season, it's astonishing to think that recognition, in the form of international caps and cross-channel trials, have so far eluded young Derry stars like the Donegal duo of Barry McNamee and Stephen McLaughlin.

"Stephen McLaughlin has had an unbelievable season," says Molloy. "From the off he went scoring goals, he's scored 17 goals and from a wide position, that's an incredible tally. He came from Finn Harps last year and didn't get much of a chance as James McClean was there ahead of him but this year he's been a breath of fresh air and has been our best player.

"Barry McNamee has only come into the team in the last few months but he has taken the league by storm.

"He's been excellent in every game he's played, he's so composed on the ball and has such talent, he's a pleasure to play with."

Molloy added: "I know it's a tough match for us. Pat's have been our most difficult opponents this season. If you want to win the FAI Cup you have to beat the best teams and St Pat's are definitely one of the best."