Aaron Connolly on his debut for Brighton and sharing the same pitch with Sergio Aguero
Aaron Connolly on his debut for Brighton and sharing the same pitch with Sergio Aguero
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Aaron Connolly on his debut for Brighton and sharing the same pitch with Sergio Aguero

​Republic of Ireland international Aaron Connolly has spoken about receiving his Premier League debut ball and what it meant for him to play in a topflight match against Manchester City. 

Connolly came off the bench as a second-half substitute to replace French forward Neal Maupay - he added that he was besides himself sharing the same pitch with Sergio Aguero whom he has looked up to as an aspiring footballer. 

Speaking to Brighton & Hove Albion's official website, he said: “Playing in the Premier League is what I have been working for since I came to Brighton, so to walk out and play in the game at Man City was a big honour for me, my family, and everyone that’s been involved both club wise and back home as well.

“The game gave me a good chance to see the level that’s required if I wanted to play in the Premier League. To play against one of the best teams in Europe on my debut was mad, but a good learning curve to start my career.

 Nick Potts / PA“His [Aguero] movement is unbelievable, and I’m not sure if he touched the ball that much, but he scored two goals in the game. To be on the same pitch as him after growing up and looking up to him, was mad. Now I’m hungry for more and want to play against bigger and better players in the future.”

The 19-year-old also spoke about his future aspirations at the club and further admitted that manager Graham Potter's has a positive influence on the team and he hopes to keep repaying his faith. 

“I like to run in behind the defence, but I’ll do whatever the gaffer asks me to do, and I'll do it to the best of my ability. Before I came on against City, he told me to play my normal game, run in behind and stretch the defence.

Gareth Fuller / PA“He gives all attacking players the freedom to play and it’s good to play under the manager here. Whenever you get on the ball, you know that if you make a mistake it’s not the end of the world and you just try to win it back as soon as possible.

“It’s quite chilled out and the gaffer knows what he wants from us, and vice-versa. It all works itself out.”

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