Sunday 24 February 2019

League 1 move on cards for Connolly

SSE Airtricity League

Pre-season training gets under way for Dundalk FC this coming Saturday, but it's highly likely that Dylan Connolly will not be present.

The Argus understands that a deal to sell the 23-year-old to League One strugglers AFC Wimbledon was agreed before Christmas, with just personal terms to be sorted.

Wally Downes' side, who are second from bottom but just three points away from climbing out of the relegation places, feel Connolly's pace can be a real asset to them in their battle to avoid the drop and they hope to have the Meath man on board as soon as possible in the New Year.

Dundalk are expected to recoup most, if not all, of the €35,000 they paid Bray Wanderers for Connolly's services in July 2017, making it the first fee they have received for a player since Ben McLaughlin signed for Everton in August 2012.

While Daniel Kelly has already signed as an almost direct replacement for Connolly on the right, it is understood Dundalk are in the market for another attacking option, having also lost Ronan Murray to Sligo Rovers over the winter months.

Connolly has had a mixed reception from Dundalk supporters since signing for the club, with former boss Stephen Kenny forced to publicly defend him last season. Arguably the highlight of his time at Oriel Park came last summer when he scored the winner away to Levadia Tallinn in the first leg of the club's Europa League meeting in Estonia.

While no official news has emerged over the festive period on the managerial situation at Oriel Park, it is understood that Vinny Perth will be in charge next season, with John Gill coming in alongside him.

Perth will oversee the start of pre-season training this weekend, with a schedule currently being drawn up that includes another camp in Spain at the end of January.

The Argus