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Connolly hangs up boots

Former Republic of Ireland striker David Connolly has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect.

The 37-year-old made over 400 senior club appearances during his career, with Watford, Wimbledon, Feyenoord, Leicester and Southampton among a host of clubs he played for, while he won 41 international caps.

Connolly joined Sky Bet League Two side AFC Wimbledon in January after his contract with Portsmouth was cancelled by mutual consent but, after managing one goal in eight appearances, he has decided to hang up his boots following discussions with his manager and former team-mate Neal Ardley.

Connolly told the Dons' official website: "I pulled Neal aside for a heart-to-heart chat and I felt that now was the time to call it a day.

"As time has gone on I felt that starting games was difficult and so too was travelling up and down the country to come off the bench for 10 minutes or so. Neal needed a striker that could play off (Adebayo) Akinfenwa and start games and that wasn't me."

Ardley told Dons Player: " I tried to talk him around, but his mind was made up. I have invited David to come back and do coaching at the club whenever he is ready."

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