Teenage Brighton striker makes international debut

Posted On 12 Oct 2019 at 6:01 pm

Brighton and Hove Albion’s teenage striker Aaron Connolly made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland this afternoon (Saturday 12 October).

Aaron Connolly

The 19-year-old was named as a substitute by manager Mick McCarthy for the European Championship qualifying match against Georgia.

And there was an audible roar from the travelling fans in Tbilisi when he replaced the hard-working Luton Town forward James Collins with just over 10 minutes to go.

Connolly, who scored twice for Albion in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last week, came close twice against Georgia.

His fellow Seagull, central defender Shane Duffy, also had a chance in the dying seconds of the game but headed straight to the Georgia keeper Giorgi Loria.

The Ireland squad travel to Switzerland for their next match on Tuesday (15 October), with their final game against Denmark scheduled for Monday 18 November.

After the Georgia match Connolly told Sky Sports that he was disappointed that Ireland had not won.

He said: “As a striker you have to score. It is a bit gutting not to put the ball in the back of the net but we go on to Tuesday now.

“I got two chances and probably should have put one of them away.

“It was a good overall performance and we will take a point.

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous. I was excited.”

His international debut was, he said, “the proudest moment you can achieve”.

And he added: “We could have won. We could have lost.

“We have a big game on Tuesday and all to play for.”

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