INJURIES and a reluctance to live away from his Liverpool-based family led Airbus skipper and former title-winning Plymouth Argyle right-back Paul Connolly to call time on his career in full-time football.

Father-of-two Connolly celebrated his 33rd birthday at the end of September and still believes he could play in the Football League.

However, after short spells at Millwall, Crawley Town, Luton Town and Stockport County over the past three seasons, Connolly joined Airbus this summer and told the Plymouth Herald: "I have had a couple of injuries and I wasn't really enjoying football, to be honest.

"I have got a couple of kids now so what I have done is that I have relocated the family back to Liverpool.

"That's it. No more travelling. I had an offer to go somewhere (in the EFL) in the summer but chose not to because I would have had to travel.

"It's not the be-all and end-all for me now. Unfortunately, that's just the way it pans out sometimes.

"I feel I could still be playing somewhere but I just don't want to be relocating or travelling by myself and being in hotels.

"I have done all that. It doesn't work well with me.

"Some people's characters aren't built for it, and I don't think I'm built for it. It certainly doesn't get the best out of me on the pitch.

"So if it doesn't get the best of me out on the pitch I would rather not bother.

"At the moment, I have signed a two-year contract at Airbus UK in the Welsh Premier League and I'm captain there.

I'm really enjoying it. It's different – the crowds aren't there and all that – but I'm not bothered. It's still a game of football.

"I'm really enjoying it. It's different – the crowds aren't there and all that – but I'm not bothered. It's still a game of football.

"I'm training twice a week so it's keeping me fit and I feel like I can help the younger lads in our squad.

"If I can help one or two of them kick on and get into the Football League, and if I can use my contacts to try to get them a trial somewhere, I will be really happy.

"It's only a half-an-hour drive from my house, door to door, so it's absolutely perfect for me."

Connolly started his career at Argyle and went on to make a total of 177 appearances between 2001 and 2008.

He played 29 times when the Pilgrims won the Division Two (now called League One) title in 2003/04.

Connolly then became a regular at right-back for Argyle in the Championship before leaving as a free agent in 2008 and signing for Derby County.

He moved to Leeds United a couple of years later, so can reflect on a career which has seen him play at a high level and for some famous and historic clubs.

Connolly said: "I left school with nothing at 17 years old. I didn't even have a club when I went to Plymouth.

"I was about to get a job, either in a crisp factory or a printing factory, but Paul Sturrock got me down for a trial at Plymouth.

"So I have already won in my career. I have exceeded my whole expectations of my life and what I thought I would end up doing.

"At the minute, I haven't really had time to look back on it but I suppose in 20 years' time it's something I will look back on with grandkids."

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