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Former Irish International David Connolly Has Retired From Football

Former Irish International David Connolly Has Retired From Football
By PJ Browne Updated

David Connolly has retired from football aged 37. The former Irish international was playing for English League Two side AFC Wimbledon.

His former Wimbledon teammate Neal Ardley is the current manager of AFC Wimbledon and called him the best striker he had ever played with.

The 41-cap Irish international explained the decision to AFC Wimbledon's website.

Both Neal and I decided that we would take it month by month in terms of assessing whether I could deliver physically at my age. As time has gone on I felt that starting games was difficult and so too was travelling up and down the country to come off the bench for 10 minutes or so. Neal needed a striker that could play off Bayo Akinfenwa and start games and that wasn’t me.

I pulled Neal aside for a heart to heart chat and I felt that now was the time to call it a day. I have always had fond memories of this club and my winning goal against Luton will live long in the memory. It was great to bring that joy to everyone at the club. I have spoken to Neal about coaching opportunities and that could be a possibility in the future.

Ardley also expressed his admiration for Connolly. The 37-year-old told the manager that the money being spent on his wages would be better used on a player who could regularly start.

I have total respect for David. He feels that the money we are paying him would be better spent on someone who can start games. He does not feel he is that person. That is a rare quality to have to accept that. I cannot speak highly enough of him. I tried to talk him around, but his mind was made up. He has a couple of family issues and wants to spend more time with his Dad. I have to take all these things into consideration. He is a great guy and it would have been sad if he had not had that great moment against Luton. That felt really special and more than just getting three points.

This is the moment against Luton which Ardley referenced.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrxgI9sYm2A

Connolly only joined AFC Wimbledon in January. He retires as the only player to score for both Wimbeldon and AFC Wimbledon.

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Picture credit; Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

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