Ireland U-21: Connolly aims for more in Toulon

Ireland U-21: Connolly aims for more in Toulon

Republic of Ireland striker Aaron Connolly is determined to help lead Ireland into the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament.
8th Jun 2019

Stephen Kenny's U-21 side need a win over Bahrain in their final Group C fixture to book a semi-final spot with the team currently top of the group, following a win over China U23 and a draw against Mexico U23.

Connolly, who plays for Brighton and Hove Albion, had a blistering start to the tournament as he assisted Zack Elbouzedi's first-minute opener against China before he scored three minutes later in the 4-1 win. 

The 19-year old started the Mexico draw on the bench due to illness before the second group fixture but he came on at half-time, and Connolly hopes to make a huge impact against Bahrain tomorrow. 

"We've done really well in the tournament but it isn't a surprise to me or anybody in the squad," said Connolly. 

"We've got so much talent throughout the team and so many different types of players, and we're confident we can give anybody problems in any game. 

"It was a fantastic start to the tournament and I got a lot of messages from back home which was great, it seems everybody is watching the tournament. We know what we've got to do and we're focused because to get into the semi-finals would be a great achievement."

Ireland travel to the Stade Jules-Ladoumegue to face Bahrain with kick-off at 2pm (3pm local time) tomorrow and the game will be live on FreeSports. 

The former Mervue United man has also praised U-21 manager Stephen Kenny and has enjoyed working under him for the first time. 

"I played in the semi-finals of the U-17 league for Mervue United against Dundalk and he came into the dressing room after the game to congratulate us. It was the first time I met him and to work under him now is great," continued Connolly.

"Everyone knows the titles he has won and how successful he has been so it's a great opportunity for us to work under him.

"It's been a great tournament so far but we've got to get the job done tomorrow and we're positive we can get it done."