Grandson of World Cup winning Burnley legend is ready to return!
Clitheroe boss David Lynch is excited to welcome back winger Jake Connelly following the enforced break in the Northern Premier League calendar.
The 18-year-old, who is the grandson of World Cup winning Burnley legend John Connelly, hasn’t played any competitive football since sustaining an injury in the pre-season friendly against Hyde United.
The teenager made an appearance from the bench in the club’s fixture against a Fleetwood Town XI at Shawbridge last month and was then an unused substitute for the FA Trophy defeat to Ashton United.
He will continue his rehabilitation during the season’s suspension and will hope to return to action for the trip to Tadcaster Albion on December 5th.
“We’ve got Jake Connelly coming back from injury and that’s a massive plus,” said Lynch. “The squad is starting to look really strong and there’s some good competition for places.
“The lads who are in the eleven know that they can’t take their foot off the gas because there’s somebody chomping at the bit to take their place.
“That’s the recipe for a successful squad.
“If players know that they’re going to be the first name on that team sheet every week then they’re never going to get the best out of themselves.”
Lynch, 27, was able to convince Connelly to commit his future to the club, despite there being plenty of other offers on the table.
Connelly had been invited to the Cobham Training Centre to play for Chelsea’s Academy – headed by Ed Brand – prior to the pandemic.
However, he picked up a knock while representing the England Colleges national team during the Roma Caput Mundi tournament in Italy and was ruled out.
Lynch said: “Jake is contracted now so he’s our player. He acknowledges that it’s a good environment for him, he can see the level of training and Louis Mayers deserves huge credit for that.
“The strength and conditioning side and the sports science aspect he’s brought has been brilliant so I think Jake has identified that we’re not running it like a run-of-the-mill non-league team.”
Connelly’s famous grandad – who played alongside Nobby Stiles, Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Charlton and other greats in a goalless draw against Uruguay at Wembley in the group stages – helped the Three Lions lift the Jules Rimet Trophy for the only time in their history in 1966.
The left winger, who has lived in Grindleton since moving away from Barrowford, also has a bright future ahead of him in the game.
“Since he’s been here he’s been absolutely superb and you can see the lads responding positively to what he’s doing,” continued Lynch.
“We’re trying to do things right, professionally, we’re trying to get more out of the boys and I think those were the reasons behind his decision to sign a contract.”