Defender aiming high with the Hatters after a year of heartache
New signing Paul Connolly says he has plenty to prove to himself and his doubters after joining the Hatters on Saturday.
The experienced 30-year-old has an impressive CV following spells at Plymouth, Derby, Leeds, Sheffield United, Portsmouth, Millwall and, most recently Crawley, who he left this summer.
But it’s a tough last 12 months that Connolly is determined to banish to the back of his mind after signing an initial one-year deal at Kenilworth Road.
The right-back, who has made over 350 senior appearances, mostly in the Championship, told Hatters Player: “Last season I began in the Millwall first team on a short-term deal but I injured my groin in a game at Reading and I was out injured for five-and-a-half weeks. I’d never tore my groin in my career before.
“I left Millwall and when January came I was in the doldrums and I didn’t know what to do. I signed for Crawley, and looking back, I’m not sure it was the right move. It never really worked out. I felt as though I was a bit of a scalded cat and out of the loop.
“Now I feel that I need to prove to myself and to those that have doubted me that I can perform, especially at this level.
“At Crawley I was never happy off the pitch. I was only happy on the pitch playing and during training. I was living in a hotel and I never really settled.
“I think I have learned a lot from my experience at Crawley. I won’t be living in any hotels and I’ll be fully focussed down here with my mind on the job.”
Connolly admitted that he turned down an offered from a League 1 club earlier in the close season but believes the Town’s ambition and loyal support made the decision an easy one.
“Luton are bigger than most clubs in League 1 so it’s not a probably for me playing in League 2. I don’t think this club is a League 2 club. It is, obviously, but I don’t think it will be for long. To get 7,000 fans in the Conference certainly makes you think what the potential is.
“From the squad I’ve seen on paper I think we have a good chance of kicking on. Signing Andy Drury is a massive statement of intent and I think the young players we have, together with the more experienced ones, like me, can really help us be a success this season. I wanted to join a club that is moving in the right direction and this club certainly is on the up.”
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