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Club News


16 May 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Aaron Connolly celebrates after scoring the second goal at Villa Park.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 striker Aaron Connolly highlighted the togetherness of the team as one of the main reasons behind their promotion-winning season in the Premier League 2 Division 2.

The Irishman headed home Albion’s second goal of the game at Villa Park in their 2-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Play-Off Final, and he admitted it was an amazing experience to finish the season on such a high.

He said, “It was unreal. It was what we’d been playing for all season. I’m glad we managed to get over the line. The team were obviously nervous, but we treated it like any other game and got the job done.

“Winning away from home with a clean sheet, also getting a goal, it was a great feeling and finished off our season in the best possible way.

“It’s all down to the togetherness of the team. The group is tight and we all get along - nobody is arguing, so it’s easier to go out and win games together.

“We went into the season trying to finish as high as possible, but we eventually realised we could do something special. Since January, we’ve been unbelievable. It’s been a mad season but a successful one.”

Connolly’s second-half header was his sixth goal in four games for the Seagulls, but the 18-year-old also praised his defensive team-mates for their contribution throughout the season.

“I’m glad that I got the goals. That’s what I love doing most. Thankfully my goal helped the team win on Saturday and now we’re going up.

“It was a good ball into the box and I just had to get a flick on it. It was an unreal feeling to make it 2-0, and it allowed us to be fairly comfortable for the rest of the game.

“The defence were unbelievable as well. It’s been an unreal season and the clean sheets have been massive for us.”

Simon Rusk’s team will now play in the Premier League 2 Division 1 next season, and Connolly highlighted the increase in quality as something the team can look forward to.

“It will be a good challenge, just like the first team going up from the Championship into the Premier League.

“You want to be playing against the best teams and show what you can do. Hopefully we’ll do as well next season as we’ve done this year.”

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