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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 06:36 GMT 07:36 UK
Connolly joins West Ham
Wimbledon striker David Connolly
Connolly has been a prolific scorer
Republic of Ireland striker David Connolly has completed a 285,000 transfer from Wimbledon to West Ham.

Upton Park boss Glenn Roeder gave the 25-year-old his debut at Watford when Connolly was just 16.

And the London-born player rejected offers from Premiership clubs in order to link up with his former mentor again.

Connolly, who scored 42 goals in 63 league games for Wimbledon, told West Ham's website: "I spoke to a lot of very good managers who put a lot of time into signing me.

"I appreciate that but in the end I decided West Ham was the club for me.

"I know Glenn Roeder from when I was at Watford and it is great to be working with him again.

He is fiery and strong mentally - a tough boy and he lives for scoring goals
Glenn Roeder on David Connolly

"West Ham is a fantastic football club with a great tradition - I would say for me it is a great move and it is the type of club where every footballer would love to play his football at."

Roeder insisted that the signing of Connolly did not mean the likes of Frederic Kanoute and Jermain Defoe would definitely be leaving.

"It doesn't mean that at all. People are reading too much into things happening," the West Ham boss said.

"We have a small squad and we are trying to get the numbers up - we have lost players this summer and he is the first one in."

Connolly is looking forward to teaming up with the forwards already on the books.

"I am a striker and I know there are very good strikers here.

"I know it will be a battle to get into the team but I am confident in my ability," he said.

Roeder believes there are shades of West Ham legend Tony Cottee about Connolly's approach to the game.

"He is fiery and strong mentally - a tough boy and he lives for scoring goals.

"He is one of those lads that keeps a mental note of exactly where and how he scores.

"In that sense there are echoes of Tony Cottee, who I believe kept a book of all his goals.

"I don't know if David does but I am sure he can tell you how he has scored his goals, and probably at what time."



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