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Pinnock and Connolly could help fire Cobblers back to League One

Written by on August 25, 2021

Northampton Town is a League Two football club once again after a fairly disappointing campaign in League One last season. For manager Jon Brady, the summer has been all about rebuilding the squad as he attempts to get the Cobblers back up at the first time of asking. So far, the signs are certainly there that Northampton could mount a serious challenge this season. Two key signings in Mitch Pinnock and Dylan Connolly look up for the challenge in particular.

Cobblers fans, like all others, have been scrutinising the club’s summer business as they strive to see their beloved Town playing higher up the pyramid. Northampton Town Football Club hardly deserve to be playing in the Premier League or be regularly featured on the best sports podcasts like That Peter Crouch Podcast or the Guardian Football Weekly, but in and around Northampton, the team’s fortunes are regularly discussed, and League One stability is deemed a realistic aim. Despite numerous off-field issues, Northampton is a club with big ambitions and a fan base that is in desperate need of some steadiness. Yo-yoing between League One and League Two has become an almightily frustrating trend for fans of the club to endure, which is why there is a desperation to gain what many believe is their rightful place back in English football’s third tier come the end of the season.

In Jon Brady, the Cobblers have a vastly experienced coach who knows the club from top to bottom after joining in 2016. Whether or not he’s the man to take the first-team forward remains to be seen, with some fans certainly having their doubts, but there is no denying that he knows the club inside out and will be fully aware of what exactly is needed to get Northampton back to League One.

Mitch Pinnock and Dylan Connolly appear to be two players who Brady could certainly call upon at times throughout the season. Both new additions come to the club with decent pedigree having featured in League One for AFC Wimbledon and have the tools needed to change games. Judging by pre-season form, both acquisitions look like they’re bringing something mightily impressive to the table too.

Connolly has blistering pace

Speak to most Dundalk, AFC Wimbledon and Bradford City fans, and they will all tell you the same thing regarding Connolly. The Irishman possesses bundles of pace and, on his day, could really cause sides in League Two huge problems, but his end product can be lacking at times. A move to Northampton could certainly reignite his career after a fairly indifferent time in Scotland with St.Mirren, though.

It was in southwest London with Wimbledon where Connolly arguably had the best time of it, most notably during an FA Cup tie against Premier League side West Ham United. Tormenting the Hammers’ defence with his speed and direct running out wide, Connolly announced his arrival at Wimbledon with a devastating display. Sadly, though, he failed to really build on it as he didn’t suit the club’s system under then-boss Wally Downes.

At Northampton, on the other hand, in a more attack-minded side full of energy and intensity, and at a level perhaps more suited to Connolly, he could be a key cog in the wheel this season. Should the lightning-quick winger get a run of games and build his confidence back up, then not many left-sided defenders will fancy going up against him this season.

Pinnock oozes quality

A key addition in the summer was another former Wimbledon player in Mitch Pinnock, who arrived from SPL side Kilmarnock. Pinnock already appears to be favoured on the left side of midfield for the Cobblers, a position he is more than capable of making his own. The former Southend youngster offers a set-piece threat, his long throws are a weapon any side would want, and he possesses the flair needed to unlock deep-sitting defences turning up to the Sixfields this campaign.

Issues over his fitness have been a concern in the past, and he has been labelled a bit of a party boy by fans of his former clubs, but he appears to be hungry to succeed and shine in a new division. Pinnock could be another player Northampton rely on this season.

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