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"I have got to score that second one!" - Connolly eager for opportunity against Swiss

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

09:12 12 Oct 2019


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Aaron Connolly has described his international debut as his "proudest moment in football so far", and said that he remains ready to take the opportunity "with both hands" if given his first international start against Switzerland next Tuesday. 

Speaking to Off The Ball after the game the 19-year-old Brighton striker said that he was already inundated with well-wishes after making a short but notable impact during Ireland's 0-0 draw in Georgia.

"Whoever has helped me all the way up has obviously just messaged me and just said how proud they are of me and hopefully I can keep making them proud every day," Connolly told Off The Ball's Richie McCormack.

On the game itself, Connolly said that watching from the bench it looked "hectic" but that he was just focusing on what effect he could make if called upon by Mick McCarthy.

"There was a lot at stake but I was just watching to see what the centre-halves were like, to see if I did come on how I could get in. That was my main focus, but we have got a point so we can't be unhappy with that."

While both sides struggled to attack with any effectiveness, the best chance for a winner fell to Connolly in the dying moments when his pace set him through on goal, and the young striker was unhappy he couldn't be Ireland's hero in Tbilisi.

"As a striker, I think I have got to score that second one," he said, "its disappointing obviously. I think in a game like that no matter what age you are you have to put that away but it's still a proud night for me."

Despite that disappointment, Connolly explained that he was humbled to be involved even if he did not appear out of his depth.

"Obviously, if I didn't have that [first-team experience with Brighton] it would be a bit more nerve-wracking coming here, but since I've had that experience it's helped me settle in here and obviously the boys have helped me settle in and the gaffer and his coaching team as well."

Asked about the possibility of starting against Switzerland away on Tuesday night, Connolly was, by now, characteristically unfazed: "If they decide to start me I'll take that chance with both hands but if not then I'll do the same thing I did tonight," he said.

"If the gaffer wants me to play left or right, I don't care where it is as long as I play for my country."


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