Irish international striker Aaron Connolly joined the Tigers on a half season loan during the first week of the January 2023 transfer window and made his City debut a day later against Fulham in the FA Cup. He made his first significant impression with two finely taken goals in a late January 3-0 demolition of Queens Park Rangers.
Aaron Anthony Connolly was born in Oranmore, a town on the fringes of Galway on Ireland’s west coast. He played junior football for Maree/Oranmore FC and Mervue United before joining the Brighton & Hove Albion academy setup in 2016. He was offered a two year scholarship and slotted straight into the Seagulls’ Under-18 team. By January 2017 he was elevated to the Under-21 side and scored twice on his debut at that level.
In the 2017/18 season he made his first team debut for Brighton in an August 2017 League Cup tie against Barnet, followed by two EFL Trophy appearances in August and November 2017, all before his 18th birthday. In the 2018/19 season he made four further senior appearances for Brighton, one in the League Cup and three in the EFL Trophy, before spending the latter half of the season on loan at League One title contenders Luton Town, though injuries restricted him to just two appearances for the Hatters.
Aaron’s breakthrough came in the 2019/20 season, he made his Premier League debut off the bench in August 2019, four days after scoring his first senior goal in the League Cup against Bristol Rovers, and in his first start for the Seagulls in October 2019 he scored twice against Tottenham Hotspur. He added a third goal against Burnley in the last game of the season, ending the season with four goals in 27 senior appearances. He remained in first team contention for much of the 2020/21 season but in the first half of the 2021/22 season he was used more sparingly and spent the second half of the season on loan at Championship side Middlesbrough where he scored two goals in 21 appearances. At the end of the 2021/22 season his tally for Brighton had reached eight goals in 52 appearances.
At the start of the 2022/23 season Connolly was loaned to Italian Serie B side Venezia but after his August 2022 debut against Genoa he made only five appearances before returning to England in January 2023 to join Hull City.
Connolly has played international football for Ireland at all levels – an April 2015 cap at Under-15 level was followed by 10 caps and seven goals at Under-17 level during the 2016/17 season including four appearances in the Under-17 European Championships played in Croatia during May 2017. Two caps for the Under-18s and five caps (plus 2 goals) for the Under-19s were followed by 1 goal in 9 appearances for the Under-21s between June 2019 and September 2022.
In October 2019 Connolly was handed his senior debut for Ireland against Georgia and by September 2021 he had taken his senior tally to eight caps.
Date/Place of Birth: 28 January 2000, Oranmore
Hull City First Game: 7 January 2023, Fulham H (FA Cup Third Round), 22 years, 344 days old
Hull City Final Game: [current player]
Brighton & Hove Albion (2016-current), Luton Town (2019, loan), Middlesbrough (2022, loan), Venezia (2022-2023, loan), Hull City (2023, loan)
Hull City Record
Career: 4 apps, 2 goalsAaron Connolly
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