“My confidence was on the deck" - Aaron Connolly explains why he has made the move to Italy
"Now I’m in a better headspace."
Aaron Connolly has revealed that his love for football has faded in the last three years.
The Irishman burst onto the scene for Brighton as a teenager, and almost instantly the expectation of a big future in football was thrust upon him.
However, he has since struggled to find this sort of form on a consistent basis, but hopes that this loan move with Seri B side Venezia, will help revive his career.
In an in-depth interview with Irish Football Fan TV he explains his journey as a footballer so far, and where he hopes to be in the future.
“My confidence was on the deck, when I missed chances and hadn’t been playing,” explained the 22-year-old.
“I wasn’t in the right place to go on loan last year. I did it because I wanted to play football but I wish this version of myself right now had showed up at Middlesbrough. It would have been a different story.
“Mentally, I wouldn’t have been able to move abroad last season. I wouldn’t have been excited. But this time, I couldn’t say yes quick enough.
"I’ve got a good group of people around me now, a good group of mates… the old circle I used to be around off the pitch, I’ve had to make my mind up.
“That love for football has probably faded in the last three seasons,” he said. “Everyone can probably tell by my performances at times.
“And maybe the way I carried myself on the pitch and sometimes off it. Now I’m in a better headspace, you look back at games and think ‘Was I really walking around for that long? Did I really have my head down for this long? Did I really walk around like that?”
Connolly hasn’t started a game for Ireland since an Aviva Stadium draw with Azerbaijan last September, when he was substituted by Stephen Kenny at half-time.
“I had a meeting with Keith and Stephen and they were showing me clips from the Azerbaijan game where I wasn’t pressing and then they showed me clips from the U21 game (with Sweden in 2019) where I wouldn’t stop running. That faded without me realising,” the forward reflects.