New signing thrilled to sign for club he supports
David Connolly says he can’t wait to swap the terraces at AFC Wimbledon for a playing role on the pitch after completing his Dons return yesterday.
The experienced striker revealed shortly after signing that he was due to attend the Dons versus Carlisle match as a spectator, before Neal Ardley swooped to sign him.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell, David, who is pictured playing for the Dons at Middlesbrough in 2002, said: “A friend texted me this morning to ask if I wanted to go to a game this weekend. He said ‘why not Wimbledon?’ I texted him back to say that I might actually have a place on the bench! It will be great to be involved rather than standing there as a spectator.
“When I played at Kingsmeadow last season with Portsmouth the fans gave me a great reception and I’m sure I’ll get on with them terrific. I’ve been quite a few times as a fan recently (his last game was the 4-1 win v Exeter City) during spare weekends. Unfortunately, that’s been because I’ve not been playing, but it’s been great to see the club doing well.
“This move came out of the blue, but it’s amazing to be back. I obviously played for Wimbledon a long time ago and it’s a club close to my heart. I have a lot of time for the club and it was great to see how AFC Wimbledon rose from the ashes.”
However, David has also returned with a steely determination to make a difference to the Wimbledon team – and he did have another club eager to sign him.
“I spoke to one other club who had been keen to sign me for a while, but this felt like the right move,” added David. “At a certain stage of your career you want to play for a manager that you know. It’s good to know how the manager works and how he trains the players. Neal Ardley has a great reputation and I believe that being here will suit me down to the ground.
“I played with Neal a long time ago, but it’s not an ‘old pals’ act’. Last season I scored against Wimbledon for Oxford and maybe the manager thinks I’ve got something to offer. I like the way he goes about his business and the way his team plays. The manager is doing a brilliant job.
“It’s tough when you’re not playing, but I’ve been in football a long time. I know the training that I have to do and the mileage you miss out on when you don’t play every week. I tried to keep my fitness up for when an opportunity would turn up. I had other opportunities, but I did not take them. To come back to Wimbledon is the move I really wanted.”
The full interview with David Connolly appeared on Dons Player yesterday, along with Neal Ardley’s full update on boosting his squad during January.