'We should have got to 3 tournaments at least' - David Connolly has regrets about Ireland career

The former West Ham and Feyenoord striker also revealed he had been in touch with Conor O’Shea at Harlequins.

Connolly scored nine goals in 41 appearances for Ireland.
Connolly scored nine goals in 41 appearances for Ireland.
Image: INPHO

FORMER IRELAND STRIKER David Connolly, who announced his retirement last weekend, has spoken of his regrets at international level.

Speaking on Off the Ball, the former West Ham, Sunderland and Southampton (among many others) forward believes the team of the Mick McCarthy era underachieved considerably.

When asked if he had any regrets that the side didn’t go further in the 2002 World Cup, he responded:

“Not only that. It’s some of the qualifying tournaments before that. I remember Tony Cascarino being bloodied [in the Euro 2000 playoff against Turkey]… We should have got to three tournaments at least.”

Of his missed penalty in the 2002 World Cup last-16 match against Spain, he added: “It happens to the best players, never mind the mediocre ones like myself.”

And on his decision to retire, Connolly admitted “it was about time” and said:

“It’s a young man’s game these days and [playing for AFC Wimbledon]  was probably a bit beyond me.

“It was enjoyable initially, but since leaving Portsmouth, it probably hasn’t been as enjoyable.”

Moreover, recalling his time in Holland with Feyenoord as a youngster, Connolly played down suggestions that it was ultimately a failure.

“I scored two against Ajax and played against Man United and Juventus. As a kid at Watford, I would never have dreamed of that.

“And they offered me a new contract, so I didn’t do that badly.”

He still goes back to the club nowadays and is currently doing his pro-licence with a view to coaching.

“I was back [at Feyenoord] two months ago — I spent an hour with the manager. If you score a couple against Ajax, you’re always welcomed back

“I’ve been doing coaching for a while. I’ve been to many clubs… Wherever will have me really.

“I’ve even been down at [rugby side] Harlequins — Conor O’Shea is doing well down there.”

Listen to the full interview here>

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Paul Fennessy

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