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'Aaron Connolly is someone with massive potential and we’re very fortunate to have him at the football club'

High praise from Steve Sidwell for Brighton’s young Irish striker.

Aaron Connolly has made two first-team appearances for Brighton & Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup.
Aaron Connolly has made two first-team appearances for Brighton & Hove Albion in the Carabao Cup.
Image: Gareth Fuller

STEVE SIDWELL BELIEVES Aaron Connolly could have a big future in football after the 19-year-old Irish striker was named Brighton & Hove Albion’s Young Player of the Year.

Earlier this week, Connolly was honoured at the Premier League club’s end-of-season awards ceremony thanks to his displays for their U23s.

The Galway native scored 17 goals for the Seagulls’ second-string side before agreeing a loan move to Luton Town at the end of January.

An injury setback has restricted Connolly to just one substitute appearance for the League One outfit, who secured promotion to the Championship on Tuesday.

Having recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at Brighton until 2022, the Ireland U19 international will hope to make an impact on Chris Hughton’s first-team when he returns to the Amex Stadium next season. 

“Aaron Connolly is someone with massive potential and we’re very fortunate to have him at the football club,” said Brighton academy coach Sidwell. “It’s about us continuing to nurture him so that when he does get that opportunity he can take it and kick on.

“We’ve seen how challenging this Premier League is. Opportunities might be few and far between, so when it does come it’s a chance that he’s going to have to take.

“There’ve been some memorable goalscorers at this football club down the years and Aaron has all the attributes that will allow him to go on and be successful. He’ll be learning off the likes of Glenn [Murray] at the moment and hopefully his chance comes soon.”

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Connolly, who has made two first-team appearances for Brighton in the Carabao Cup, was named Premier League 2 Player of the Month in November.

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