Aaron Connolly, pictured with his parents Karen and Mike, after a game for Castlegar
"He was such a nice, unassuming lad from a lovely family and we're delighted to see his progress."
Brierhill school lies just a kick-out away from Ballybrit racecourse, and in Connolly, the townland has a Castlegar Colt of sorts.
As a juvenile hurler for his local club - not far from the city centre - Connolly learned his trade as a tough, diminutive forward.
Mr Hogan recalls a match, an Under-14 hurling Feile clash against Athenry, when - much like he did for Brighton in last Saturday's Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur - Aaron quite literally shot the lights out.
"He scored 4-2 that day," he said. "He might be small, but he's as broad as a door and physically he's got that turn, that low centre of gravity. He was predominantly left-sided as a hurler but brilliant with his back to goal."
By 2016, a decision in the Connolly household had to be made.
While a number of clubs from the top echelons of English football expressed an interest, Connolly chose Brighton and Hove Albion - a club from the south coast of England, that has never looked back since moving into their all-new Amex Stadium home back in July 2011.
The 16-year-old joined on a two-year scholarship with the Seagulls' Under-18 side, and initial progress was quick with Connolly being fast-tracked into the Under-23 side before making his senior Brighton debut as a 17-year-old in a League Cup win over Barnet in August 2017.
Chances under then Brighton boss and former Ireland international Chris Hughton became limited as the club put down roots in the Premier League.
Aaron Connolly celebrates scoring Brighton’s second goal against Tottenham at the Amex Stadium. Photo: AP
A loan move to Luton Town last January was initially a disaster, with Connolly's six-month deal being curtailed by an early injury. He returned to complete his loan deal in April as the Hatters sealed promotion to the Championship.
In the meantime, Hughton was replaced by Graham Potter, a progressive coach who brought the Swedish side Ostersunds from oblivion to the Europa League before returning to Britain as Swansea City boss.
Following a Premier League debut as a substitute at reigning champions Manchester City, the 19-year-old Connolly made his full debut under the watchful gaze of the Sky Sports cameras last Saturday.
Aaron Connolly, pictured here scoring a goal form Castlegar
He notched two goals in a 3-0 win for Brighton in a Man of the Match display. Later that day he received a call-up from senior Ireland boss Mick McCarthy for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland.
"Connacht is the poor relation in terms of sport, so we're delighted to see this. You have to be that bit better and that bit more determined to get noticed down in Galway," added Hogan, who describes Connolly as "a very committed young man."