Experienced striker puts tough time behind him
David Connolly said it was a brilliant feeling to be back among the goals for Wimbledon after a tough spell that tested his resolve to continue playing.
The 37-year-old’s Wimbledon return has provided a new lease of life for him after a long spell of being left out of the first-team picture at Portsmouth.
The picture above (taken by Pro Sports Images) shows David rounding Luton goalkeeper Elliot Justham before striking the winner.That made David’s dramatic winner against Luton yesterday – his first Wimbledon goal for almost 13 years – even more rewarding.
, David said: “My wife and kids came today, but I had told them to get here for the last 10 minutes because I would be on by then! It was just brilliant. I just wanted to come back and make a difference. I wanted to help the team, whether that’s behind the scenes or if selected to play. It’s pleasing to score the winner and for us to get three points.Dons PlayerSpeaking during an interview for
“I’ve had a period of time of not playing and you start to think ‘is this it?’ But I did not give up with a whimper and I intend to keep going. I want to show that I can still be a force and contribute. I’m still confident in my finishing ability, but it’s just how that comes about. We have a lot of good strikers. I thought Ade Azeez did really well when he came on and Craig Tanner played well from the start. It was good to let the young ones run around and bring on the old guard towards the end!
“I had not played in a long time before coming here. I started against Newport and helped us get a result and have come off the bench a couple of times. I then started at Shrewsbury, but I got tired and came off. That was not great for me and whether I’m better coming off the bench at the moment remains to be seen. Maybe it’s better for me to come on when teams are tiring and gaps are opening up. I feel I’ve still got something to offer, but it may take time for me to get up to speed because I was not playing for such a long time.”
David believes the Dons have acquitted themselves well against the top teams in League 2 recently, but games coming up against teams lower in the table will determine whether they can make a top-10 push.
“We were playing against top teams when we faced Burton and Shrewsbury,” Connolly added. “We had a good first half at Shrewsbury, but we had a young team out against experienced players and maybe their quality showed in the second half. That’s why they are near the top. We need to look at games like today and matches coming up as ones that we can win. If we can do well in the games coming up then we can be in the top half and see where that takes us for the last 12 games.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full five-minute video interview with David Connolly and Alfie Potter talks post-match about his return to form. Neal Ardley’s full-post reaction also features on our premium channel.