Mark Connolly

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This article is about the Irish footballer. For the British historian, see Mark Connelly. For the politician, see Mark Connolly (Public Official).
Mark Connolly
Personal information
Full name Mark Gerard Connolly[1]
Date of birth (1991-12-16) 16 December 1991 (age 25)
Place of birth Monaghan, Ireland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Crawley Town
Number 6
Youth career
Monaghan United
0000–2009 Wolverhampton Wanderers
2009–2010 Bolton Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2012 Bolton Wanderers 0 (0)
2010 St Johnstone (loan) 1 (0)
2012 Macclesfield Town (loan) 7 (0)
2012–2014 Crawley Town 69 (3)
2014–2016 Kilmarnock 36 (4)
2016– Crawley Town 35 (3)
National team
2007–2008 Republic of Ireland U17 12 (1)
2008–2009 Republic of Ireland U19 5 (0)
2011 Republic of Ireland U21 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 March 2017 (UTC).

Mark Gerard Connolly (born 16 December 1991) is an Irish footballer who plays for Crawley Town. He has previously played for Bolton Wanderers, St Johnstone, Macclesfield Town, Crawley Town and Kilmarnock. Connolly has also represented the Republic of Ireland at under-21 level.

Club career[edit]

Bolton Wanderers[edit]

Connolly was signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers by Bolton Wanderers on the summer transfer dealine in 2009 after the clubs agreed a £1,000,000 fee.[2] Wolves later reported Bolton and their assistant manager Chris Evans, a former academy director at Wolves, for an illegal approach for the player.[3] Connolly later stated he was unaware of the transfer fee Bolton had paid.[4]

On the January transfer dealine day of 2010, Connolly signed on loan for St Johnstone until the end of the season.[5] He made his debut on 27 March 2010 in the loss to Hamilton Academical.[6]

During the 2011–12 season, Connolly was captain of Bolton Wanderers's reserve team and was on the substitutes bench for the first team in their League Cup win against Macclesfield Town and he then joined Macclesfield on 24 February 2012, on a months loan,[7] making his debut the following day in their 1–1 draw at Oxford United.

On 15 May 2012, Connolly confirmed on his Twitter account that he had left Bolton.[8] This was followed by confirmation from the club that Connolly was one of twelve players released following the club's relegation to the Championship.[9]

Crawley Town[edit]

On 9 July 2012, Crawley Town announced that Connolly had signed for them on a two-year contract.[10] Connolly later stated he joined Crawley because he wanted the chance to play first team football.[11] Connolly made his debut on 14 August, starting in a League Cup match as a right-back against Championship side Millwall which ended 2–2, with Crawley winning 4–1 on penalties.[12] He then made his league debut for Crawley, in the opening game of the season, in a 3–0 win over Scunthorpe United.[13] In late August 2012, Connolly was part of the Crawley team which successfully defeated Bolton in the League Cup thanks to a last minute goal by Nicky Ajose.[14] In November 2012, after an earlier spell out of the side, Connolly spoke of his enjoyment at getting back in the team and playing regular first team games.[15] On 1 January 2013, he scored his first Crawley Town goal in the 5th minute, in a 3–0 win over Colchester United.[16] In a home match against Brentford on 26 February 2013, Connolly gave away a penalty and received a red card after 50 seconds, with Crawley going on to lose 2–1.[17] He returned after being on the bench for five matches against Crewe on 26 March 2013.[18] Connolly's second goal for the club came on 20 April 2013, in a 2–1 loss against Oldham Athletic.[19] In his first season at Crawley Town, Connolly scored twice in 35 appearances for the club.

In his second season, Connolly remained at the club after being linked with a move to Championship clubs following his performances during the previous season.[20] He spent most of the first half of the season on the bench before regaining his first team place. Connolly then scored his first goal of the season, with a header, in a 1–0 win over Notts County on 29 December 2013.[21] He went on to make 40 appearances in all competitions. Despite the club starting negotiations over a new contract,[22] Connolly was among 11 players released at the end of the 2013–14 season.[23]

Kilmarnock[edit]

Connolly signed a three-year contract with Scottish club Kilmarnock in July 2014.[24] He made his debut on 9 August 2014, in a 1–1 draw with Dundee[25] Connolly then scored his first Kilmarnock goal from a header and earlier set up a goal for Robbie Muirhead, in a 2–1 win over St Mirren[26] A few weeks later on 3 October 2014, he scored his second goal of the season, in a 2–0 win over Dundee United.[27] On 22 February 2015, Connolly was injured during Kilmarnock's 3–3 draw against Inverness Caledonian Thistle[28] and it was later confirmed he had broken his collarbone with the injury expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.[29] He returned from injury earlier than expected against Motherwell on 8 May 2015.[30]

Ahead of the 2015–16 season Connolly was named as captain of Kilmarnock, replacing Manuel Pascali who had left the club earlier in the summer.[31] On 23 May 2016, he had his contract cancelled.[32]

Return to Crawley Town[edit]

On 2 July 2016, Connolly re-joined Crawley Town preceding his contract expiry from Kilmarnock.[33] On 6 August 2016, Connolly made his Crawley return in a 1–0 victory against Wycombe Wanderers, playing the full 90 minutes.[34] On 1 October 2016, Connolly scored the winner in Crawley's 1–0 victory over Blackpool, netting in the 69th minute.[35]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 14 March 2017.[36]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bolton Wanderers 2011–12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
St Johnstone (loan) 2009–10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Macclesfield Town (loan) 2011–12 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Crawley Town 2012–13 33 2 3 0 2 0 2 0 40 2
2013–14 36 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 40 1
Total 69 3 6 0 2 0 3 0 80 3
Kilmarnock 2014–15 26 2 1 0 2 0 0 0 29 2
2015–16 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 2
Total 36 4 1 0 2 0 0 0 39 4
Crawley Town 2016–17 35 3 1 0 1 0 3 0 40 3
Career total 148 10 8 0 5 0 6 0 167 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 33. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mark Connolly – the £1million kid". The Bolton News. 17 September 2009. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Bolton accused of illegal approach for ex-Wolves kid Mark Connolly: Allegations against Trotters' assistant manager Chris Evans". The Daily Mail. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "I never knew my signing fee for Bolton was £1m, says St Johnstone loan kid Mark Connolly". Daily Record. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "St Johnstone sign Bolton defender Mark Connolly". BBC Sport. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Wesolowski seals Accies win". Sky Sports. 27 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Connolly Joins Macclesfield on Loan". bwfc.co.uk. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Mark Connolly Official Twitter Account". Twitter. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Davies signs and 12 go as Coyle prepares for Championship football". The Bolton News. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Connolly joins Reds". crawleytownfc.com. 9 July 2012. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Connolly keen to be in the thick of things". Crawley Observer. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Millwall 2–2 Crawley (1–4 pens)". BBC Sport. 14 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Crawley Town 3–0 Scunthorpe United". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Crawley Town 2–1 Bolton Wanderers". BBC Sport. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Connolly enjoying extended run". Sky Sports. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Crawley Town 3–0 Colchester United". BBC Sport. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Crawley Town 1–2 Brentford". BBC Sport. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "Crawley Town v Crewe: Reds welcome back international duo". Crawley Observer. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Oldham Athletic 1–2 Crawley Town". BBC Sport. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "Transfer news: Championship sides chasing Crawley defender Mark Connolly". Sky Sports. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "Crawley Town 1–0 Notts County". BBC Sport. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Contract talks set to start at Crawley Town". Crawley Observer. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  23. ^ Crawley Town: Paul Jones among 11 released by League One club, BBC Sport
  24. ^ Kilmarnock sign defender Mark Connolly, BBC Sport
  25. ^ McLeod, Liam (9 August 2014). "Dundee 1-1 Kilmarnock". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Kilmarnock 2–1 St Mirren". BBC Sport. 13 September 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  27. ^ "Kilmarnock 2–0 Dundee United". BBC Sport. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  28. ^ Dowden, Martin (22 February 2015). "Inverness CT 3-3 Kilmarnock". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Kilmarnock: Mark Connolly out for season - fears over Jamie Hamill". BBC Sport. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  30. ^ Halliday, Stephen (14 May 2015). "Mark Connolly back after Kilmarnock injury hell". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  31. ^ "Mark Connolly named Kilmarnock captain for new season". BBC Sport. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  32. ^ http://kilmarnockfc.co.uk/Article?id=3804&ShowCat=
  33. ^ "Conns is back". Crawley Town Official Site. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  34. ^ "Crawley Town 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers". BBC Sport. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  35. ^ "Crawley Town 1-0 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 1 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  36. ^ "Mark Connolly career statistics". Soccerbase. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 

External links[edit]