Brighton and Irish underage international striker Aaron Connolly has won this season’s Premier League 2 Player of the Year award after a tremendous campaign with the Seagulls.
Connolly was on fire in front of goal during the season scoring 11 goals and creating two in 15 games for Brighton’s U23s in the PL2 – despite missing a chunk of the campaign through injury.
The 19-year old went on loan to League One high-fliers Luton Town in January but only made two appearances as he recovered from a hamstring issue.
Connolly, who has played at both U17 and U19 level for Ireland, beat out two other Boys in Green as he pipped Norwich striker Adam Idah and Southampton’s Will Smallbone to this season’s award.
The striker’s tremendous season was also recognised by his club as he picked up Brighton’s Young Player of the Year award at the end of the campaign.
Speaking after winning the award Connolly said;
“If someone had told me at the start of the season I would win it, I would have laughed.
“It has been an unbelievable season personally and for the team. I’m proud to have topped it off with this.”
“I think I have to see myself pushing on to the first team here. I think that’s everyone’s ambition if you’re in the academy here.
“I want to play for the first team at Brighton. If not that, hopefully I can play for a first team somewhere else permanently. But right now my ambition is to play for this first team.
“Hopefully I can do that in the next few years.”
The former Mervue United man will certainly be hoping that he can break into Brighton’s first team next season after a standout year with the 23s.
💬 “It’s a big honour to be picked by all the coaches of the clubs that we’ve played against this year, and I am proud to have won it. It’s an honour for my family too."#BHAFC 🔵⚪️
— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) May 19, 2019
Speaking exclusively to Pundit Arena in November Connolly outlined that he felt he was ready for the step up to the senior set-up.
“Yeah I’d like to think that I’m ready for the step up. I’ve been playing U23s since I was 16 and I’ve scored quite a few goals so I’d like to think I can make the step up and if I did get the chance I could take it.”