Ryan Connolly joins Ayr on loan
Republic of Ireland under-19 international Ryan Connolly has joined Ayr United on loan.
The move, which brings the Derby County midfielder to the Scottish First Division, will last until the end of December. Derby County boss Nigel Clough hopes it will help the player’s progress, particularly after a cruciate ligament injury halted his development last year. “It will be a good experience for Ryan to go out and play games regularly, especially after being out for so long last season.”
Connolly made his first team debut for the Rams on the last day of the 2009-10 season, but spent six months of last season on the sidelines. Before that, he scored the only goal in Ireland’s under-19 friendly with Ukraine last August, and will have definitely been disappointed to not have featured in the successful Euro 2011 qualifying campaign.
Along with fellow youth international Jeff Hendrick, Connolly received a new contract with Derby last season, with Nigel Clough saying at the time “Ryan has been so unfortunate that he hasn’t been able to build on the promising season he enjoyed last year because of injury, but we saw enough of him before his injury to suggest he has something to offer.”