Connolly keen to be in the thick of things

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CRAWLEY Town’s new signing Mark Connolly wants to play plenty of football for a manager who is hugely respected in the game.

The former Bolton defender is manager Sean O’Driscoll’s fourth summer aquisition.

Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll

Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll

The current Republic of Ireland under-21 international decided it is time to start making regular appearances rather than being forgotten about in the reserves.

Bolton paid £1 million to buy him from Wolves in 2009 but he struggled to get in to the Premier League club’s team and had loan spells with Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone and Macclesfield, for whom he played seven games for last season and appeared against Reds in the 2-2 draw at Moss Rose last March.

Connolly, 20, said on Monday after completing the first day of pre-season training: “I didn’t get many games at Bolton and I joined Crawley because I want to start playing.

“This is a club clearly on the up having gained back-to-back promotions.

“My former mates at Wolves played for Sean previously at Doncaster and spoke highly of him. He’s a very calm man who really likes to play football.

“He is keen on details and I really enjoyed traing on Monday - he’s so professional. I want to play as many games as possible and am keen to win as many as possible.”

Connolly can play at either right back or at centre-back and likes to go on runs up the flank.

O’Driscoll said: “Mark’s a talented youngster from a Premier League club who wants to play matches with a good character who is happy to play in League 2.”