Connolly with the FAI Cup trophy. Ciaran Culligan/INPHO
doubt me now

'There are a lot of haters out there. People love to hate me'

Dylan Connolly is ready to prove himself at Dundalk — starting with this Sunday’s FAI Cup final.

DYLAN CONNOLLY SIGNED for Dundalk in order to win trophies, and he is hoping to get the chance to do just that this weekend.

The pacy winger made the switch from Bray Wanderers back in June, and although Stephen Kenny’s men could only finish runners-up to Cork City in the Premier Division, the rivals go head-to-head once again in the FAI Cup final on Sunday.

22-year-old Connolly, who is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury in the semi-final replay win over Shamrock Rovers, has had to adjust to life at the Louth club and praised his new team-mates for how they look after themselves.

“You notice the difference off the field more than on it,” he told The42. “It’s the professionalism the boys show — the preparation, getting your diet right, not drinking or smoking or anything like that.

“At Bray, we just trained Tuesday and Thursday with a match on Friday so it wasn’t really the same.”

When Connolly’s transfer went through over the summer, Bray’s future was shrouded in uncertainty after the owners made their financial issues public. Although the Seagulls secured short-term stability to finish sixth in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division, it proved an extremely difficult period for outgoing manager Harry Kenny and his squad.

“I knew about it back in March,” says Connolly. “My agent told me there were problems coming down the line at the club. I think I was the only one of the players who knew then. So I’m glad the move went through when it did.”

Hugely confident in his own ability, the ex-Ipswich Town man insists he will show the doubters that the best is still to come from him.

“There are a lot of haters out there,” Connolly explains. “People love to hate me, I think it might be to do with the way I talk about myself. Even when we played Shamrock Rovers recently, the fans were getting on to me.

You go onto Twitter — I don’t even tweet — but people are saying this or that about you. I’d love to shut them up.

“It’s people in football, the media, even some who should be supporting you at times. Maybe there’s a bit of envy.

“I didn’t have the best of years off the pitch, with what was going on at Bray in my head and other things too, so I can’t wait for 2018 to begin so I can really prove myself.”

On a potential first appearance at the Aviva Stadum, he adds: ”I came here to win trophies and this will be the first chance for me to do that in my senior career, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Subscribe to The42 podcasts here:

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