Former Ireland international David Connolly retires

Former Ireland international David Connolly retires

FORMER Ireland international David Connolly has retired.

The 37-year-old AFC Wimbledon striker made over 400 appearances during his club career.

He joined the southwest London team in January – where he made eight appearances, six of them as a substitute - after his contract with Portsmouth was cancelled.

Connolly previously played alongside Dons manager Neal Ardley for the old Wimbledon FC, during his first stint at the club between 2001-2003.

"Neal and I decided that we would take it month by month in terms of assessing whether I could deliver physically at my age," he told the club website. 

"As time has gone on I felt that starting games was difficult and so too was travelling up and down the country to come off the bench for 10 minutes or so.

"I pulled Neal aside for a heart to heart chat and I felt that now was the time to call it a day."

Connolly won 41 caps for Ireland and has enjoyed spells at Watford, Feyenoord, West Ham, Wigan, Leicester, Sunderland and Southampton.

Ardley commended Connolly’s expansive career.

He said: “David was the best striker I ever played with. I played with some good ones when I was with England Under-21s.”

"I have total respect for David. He feels that the money we are paying him would be better spent on someone who can start games,” he added.

"He does not feel he is that person. That is a rare quality to accept that. I tried to talk him around, but his mind was made up."