Football

Brighton Manager Has Aaron Connolly's Long-Term Future In Mind

Brighton Manager Has Aaron Connolly's Long-Term Future In Mind

Graham Potter says that Brighton will look to protect Aaron Connolly with the aim of ensuring the 19-year-old has a long career in the game.

"He's had quite a couple of weeks, hasn't he?" said the Brighton manager is quoted as saying by BBC Sport ahead of this weekend's game against Aston Villa.

A week after scoring a brace against Spurs in his first Premier League start, Connolly made his Ireland debut, coming off the bench against Georgia. He was subsequently given his first international start by Mick McCarthy in the defeat to Switzerland.

"We have to look after him, make sure that he has a long successful career," said Potter.

But he was great in the (Spurs) game for us, not just his goals. I thought his overall contribution to the team was really good, pressed well, defended well.

And then just for him to get that international debut, it's fantastic for him, though disappointed obviously for him and the Irish boys that the result wasn't what they wanted.

But that's part of life as well, he has to deal with that and it's now a case of recovering him and seeing how he is for the weekend.

Potter added that 36-year-old Glenn Murray, Brighton's top scorer last season, has been happy to mentor Connolly and summer signing Neal Maupay.

"They're two young guys but having someone like Glenn around helps them enormously and he's selfless in that regard," said Potter.

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"He speaks to Aaron, speaks to Neal, wants them to do well.

"All the guys in the group have got huge respect for him. The way he's been amongst the players, the way he's been with the young guys has been fantastic.

"And you need those players around when you've got a couple of young lads, it's so important."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

See Also: Andy Townsend's Wonderful Interview Detailing How Much Playing For Ireland Meant To Him

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