Portsmouth: David Connolly still key - Guy Whittingham

David Connolly

Portsmouth manager Guy Whittingham insists that David Connolly still has a future as a player after it was announced he will take up a new coaching role at the club.

Ex-Republic of Ireland striker Connolly arrived at Pompey in January and has scored 11 goals in 23 appearances.

The 36-year-old signed a two-year playing contact in May but will now also be part of the coaching set up.

"David is very important to us as a player," Whittingham told BBC Solent.

"What's imperative is David is given enough time as a player to make sure he is right for every game he is involved in. It will be dictated by that.

"He won't be with the coaches all the time as first and foremost he is still a player."

Connolly began his career at Watford before moves to Feyenoord, Wimbledon, West Ham, Leicester, Wigan, Sunderland and Southampton.

And Whittingham says Connolly has always been keen to move into coaching.

"It is something we did talk about in the summer and I feel now is the right time," he continued. "He had a little taste of it when he was suspended for a while and enjoyed that.

"We've always known he was keen to do it. So why not go ahead and do it?

"How much coaching he does is pretty flexible and has to be designated by how much David is playing - that's first and foremost what we have to remember.

"He's keen to be part of the coaching set up and we'll see how we get on with it. He's got some great training ideas, is keen to do it and is enthusiastic and that is the most important thing as a coach."

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