Connolly lifts lid on new Pompey coaching role

David Connolly
David Connolly
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A future in coaching is the aim for David Connolly – but playing remains his current Pompey priority.

The veteran striker last week penned a two-year deal to remain at Fratton Park to bolster Guy Whittingham’s rebuilding.

As part of the agreement, he will be given the remit to help out with coaching sessions for the development squad and the Academy.

No firm timetable is in place for Connolly’s training ground input.

But the 35-year-old is eager to get involved when time allows.

He is seeking to boost his coaching credentials which already see him holding a Uefa A licence.

But he is adamant playing football will be his over-riding focus while at Fratton Park.

Connolly said: ‘There is an understanding I will be able to get involved with a bit of coaching and I do see my future as that. Not now but in a few years.

‘Whether it’s with the development squad or helping out any way I can really, we will see.

‘The management and chief executive are more than happy with that as well.

‘Maybe I can get stuck into that aspect as well as playing.

‘Playing is obviously first and foremost my commitment.

‘But if there are any bits and bobs I can do around the club then I would like to do it.

‘I took my Uefa A licence a couple of years ago.

‘Mike Phelan (former Manchester United assistant manager) was on my course at Warwick.

‘I did a leadership course with Howard Wilkinson at St George’s Park recently – with the new Oldham manager (Lee Johnson) – for bright young things, so you never know.

‘I am on that road. I still see myself as a player over the next couple of years.

‘But with coaching and managing it’s nice I will be able to dip my toe in as and when it suits.

‘The agreement is not too structured because then it would involve possibly taking up too much time when playing, so it is ad hoc.

‘But I really wanted that opportunity to do that.

‘Hopefully I will be able to do that when time allows.’

Before arriving at Pompey in January, Connolly had been helping to coach Spurs’ youngsters.

He previously assisted the development squad at Southampton and did his Uefa B licence.

But Connolly doesn’t see too much change to his role at Fratton Park.

He added: ‘I am always talking to the players as I am training with them.

‘Last season I was making suggestions for (coaching) DVDs, set-pieces, all that sort of stuff.

‘It’s a case of the people in charge knowing that is ultimately what I want to do.

‘They are receptive to that so we will see how it goes.

‘You have got to start somewhere.’