Duff steps aside from Ireland coaching role

By Daire Walsh

The Football Association of Ireland announced this evening that Damien Duff is stepping down from his coaching role with the Republic of Ireland senior men's international side.

Along with former team-mate Keith Andrews, the Ballyboden native had been named as part of Stephen Kenny’s backroom team last April. He initially looked set to combine this position with his coaching duties at Celtic, before family commitments saw him departing ways with the latter two months later.

Damien Duff and Stephen Kenny 1

Damien Duff and Stephen Kenny

While it remains unclear for the time being why he has decided to leave the Irish set-up, Duff did have the following to say to FAI:

“I want to thank Stephen Kenny for the opportunity he gave me to coach with the senior Ireland team and I wish Stephen, Keith and the players all the very best of luck for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.”

Since bringing his playing career to an end in December 2015, Duff has enjoyed a steady rise up the coaching ladder.

During his final season as a player with Shamrock Rovers, he also helped out with the club’s U15 team and later returned to manage the same side in July 2016. He had a similar role with the Republic of Ireland at the same age group before accepting a reserve team coaching position with Celtic in January 2019.

Within a matter of weeks, first-team manager Brendan Rodgers had tendered his resignation  from the SPL giants and his replacement Neil Lennon promoted the two-time English Premier League winner to a revamped coaching set-up.

Although Kenny’s opening eight games at the helm haven’t yielded the results he wanted, he will undoubtedly miss the input of Duff for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying campaign.

In the meantime, Duff is expected to remain in charge of the Shelbourne U17s, having been appointed to that position last June.

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