Connolly's Premier League and international aim

Ireland under-21 striker Aaron Connolly started the new season with a quick-fire brace to help the club’s under-23s to a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League 2 last night, and afterwards declared his aim of breaking into the senior teams... at both domestic and international level.

By Paul Camillin • 13 August 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Connolly celebrates scoring against Wolves on Monday night.

The confident young striker was delighted with his two goals, but quick to state his aims for the season, following on from an impressive 17 goals in the first half of last season.

He told the club’s website, “I want to play in the Premier League, and I want to impress the new gaffer. I want to break into the first team here with Brighton and with the Republic of Ireland. You have to aim high and I hope I get the chance at both levels soon.

“With Ireland's under-21s we played against the senior team before the Toulon tournament, and you can see the standard; where you need to be at to make it into the senior squad. Our under-21s manager is going to be the senior manager next year, so I hope I can have a good season for club and country.

“I didn’t make the squad last week for the Watford game. I expected that, and I have to be patient. I will keep working hard in the under-23s and I hope I get my chance. Neal [Maupay] and Florin [Andone] scored at the weekend, and you know Glenn [Murray] is going to score goals.

“To score a couple of goals and win 2-0 is a good start to the season. I had only played 45 minutes, but it was good to play 90 minutes after a little injury. It was a good win and happy to get two goals.

By Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Connolly.

Connolly, along with fellow under-23 players Steven Alzate and Tudor Baluta, have trained regularly with the club’s first-team since reporting back for the new season. All three are under the age of 21, they will be eligible to play in the Premier League, in addition to the players named in Graham Potter’s 25-man squad.

“It has been good training with the first team,” continued Connolly, “The gaffer has come in and is like a breath of fresh air. To be around the first team, training with quality players every day I hope will make me a better player.

“Coming up against the likes of Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy — two internationals — Dan Burn and players of that quality is going to help me improve. I can feel that. I feel sharper and feel that is helping my all-round game.”

Connolly confirmed the second goal was his, after he chipped the ball over Wolves keeper Andreas Sondergaard, and Peter Gwargis followed up, but didn’t get a touch.

He added, “It’s 100% my goal, I told Pete to leave it. He definitely didn’t touch it, so it was definitely my goal. The first one was just instinct. The second one I saw the keeper coming out and I wanted to lob him.”


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