Comment: The Pompey striker who won’t net a recall

David Connolly, right, is carefully watched by Alex Wynter in training today Picture: Ian Hargreaves
David Connolly, right, is carefully watched by Alex Wynter in training today Picture: Ian Hargreaves

With a classy flick of the back of his right boot the ball entered the net.

Emanating from the North stand crowd, there were several cheers accompanied by a few claps in gleeful appreciation.

David Connolly was back.

Except the veteran striker has never gone away – and today the fans saw for themselves at first hand his continued presence as they watched Fratton Park’s open training session.

Connolly is not expected to play for Pompey again as Andy Awford puts his own stamp on his playing squad.

He has alienated too many people to stage a Blues comeback.

Despite presented with shirt number 35, the striker was not named in a single squad during the pre-season friendlies.

Awford repeatedly declines to respond to questions on the future of the ex-Sunderland man.

Then again, we all know the answer.

Pompey are keen to move on the one-time Fratton favourite and the issue of cancelling his contract has repeatedly been broached.

Connolly, however, has opted to fight away, eager to convince he has a role to play.

Besides, having entered the final 12 months of the two-year deal he signed last summer, he can argue walking away must be on his terms.

Now aged 37, there can be few moves left during an impressive playing career. Presentable options have almost run out.

In the meantime, the former Republic of Ireland international keeps on training with Pompey – as he is contracted to do.

And, judging from today, continues to display his finishing quality.

There was even an ugly yet highly-committed challenge on Jack Maloney which prompted a withering glare from the youngster.

Afterwards, Connolly joined his team-mates posing for photographs and signing autographs for fans in the Alliance Bar.

He was a willing presence – but don’t anticipate seeing him appear on the pitch for Pompey again.