Monday 16 September 2019

Irish youngsters Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah in line for senior debuts

Aaron Connolly. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Aaron Connolly. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Galway teenager Aaron Connolly is in line for a first senior Brighton start in their League Cup clash at Bristol Rovers tonight, with the striking situation at first-team level opening a massive window of opportunity.

Connolly (19) was named as the top player in Premier League 2 last season - the U-23 league that brings together the second strings from England's top clubs.

He starred at that level before an injury-interrupted loan spell at Luton, but has kicked off the new PL2 campaign by scoring three goals in two games.

Brighton boss Graham Potter has indicated that Connolly will be in his travelling party.

It could be well-timed as the weekend dismissal of Florin Andone means the frontman will be out for three matches.

"He is certainly in the group that will go there," said Potter. "He has been training well, he has a certain quality. He runs in behind and he threatens the goal."

Adam Idah is also in contention for a Norwich bow in their game away to Crawley.

The 18-year-old from Cork has also been fast-tracked into the Ireland U-21 squad and was handed a new four-year deal at Norwich in the summer.

Manager Daniel Farke said that Idah would not be going out on loan and would be considered for the Crawley tie.

"He always trains with us and is an option," he said.

Mick McCarthy will be keeping an eye on the matches with a view to trimming down his squad from 40 to 23 ahead of next week's Euro 2020 clash with Switzerland.

Shane Long and Michael Obafemi should come into contention for Southampton's trip to Fulham tonight. Long has yet to make the bench this year.

Crucially, James McCarthy should play a full part for Crystal Palace at home to Colchester.

Irish Independent

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