Today Dylan Connolly from Johnstown, Navan can savour the reality of having played his contribution as AFC Wimbledon completed one of the greatest comebacks in English football in recent seasons when they escaped relegation from League One yesteday picking up a precious point in a 0-0 draw with Bradford.
At one stage during the season Wimbledon were 10 points adrift at the foot of League One and were in a hopeless situation but they kept battling away. Connolly signed for the club around the new year and he was involved as the dramatic transformation under new manager Wally Downes took place. He was on the bench for yesterday's game with most of his appearances this season for his new club as a substitute. He did feature in Wimbledon's shot 4-2 win over West Ham in the FA Cup.
Connolly moved to AFC Wimbledon from Dundalk for an undisclosed fee. A former Republic of Ireland u-21 international Connolly returned to England after having had a brief spell at Ipswich Town earlier in his career.
After leaving the Tractor Boys, Connolly signed for Bray Wanderers in 2016 and was then picked up by Dundalk in the summer of 2017. He made 51 appearances for the Lilywhites and helped the club to win a Premier Division and FAI Cup double in 2018.
“Dylan epitomises what I think the club has been founded on, an appetite for success through hard work and endeavour,” said Dons manager Wally Downes at the time of his signing.
“He has the raw skills and desire, and we are going to give young players like Dylan the opportunity to enhance us as a club and offer them a chance to fulfil their potential.”
When Connolly joined up with Wimbledon they were in what looked a hopeless situation but the 0-0 draw away to Bradford yesterday ensured their safety - and completed the remarkable revival.