Connolly plundered two goals, one in each half, in a dazzling 3-0 win over Spurs in the Saturday lunchtime game at the Amex — and as a result has been promoted from the under-21s to Mick McCarthy’s squad.
The Galway-born 19-year-old will now be aiming to start in the Euro 2020 qualifiers in Georgia and Switzerland, as the Irish look to strengthen their position at the top of group D.
That would mean Connolly has fulfilled what seemed like lofty ambitions in mid-August, when speaking after an under-23 Premier League 2 fixture, 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.”