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Duff aiming for 'sky high' standards at Shelbourne

He had initially rejected Shelbourne's overtures to succeed Ian Morris, but Duff told Off The Ball's Eoin Sheahan that he subsequently reconsidered. 

Duff aiming for 'sky high' sta...

Duff aiming for 'sky high' standards at Shelbourne

Damien Duff plans to instill the right values and work ethic at Shelbourne as he embarks on his first managerial role. 

The former Republic of Ireland international has been installed as their new head coach. 

Having already gained coaching experience with the Republic of Ireland, Celtic and Shamrock Rovers, Duff had been working as Shels U-17 coach.

Now, however, he has taken the reins of the first team as they prepare for a return to the Premier Division next season.

He had initially rejected Shelbourne's overtures to succeed Ian Morris, but Duff told Off The Ball's Eoin Sheahan that he subsequently reconsidered.

"I was here already, I've built good relationships up around the club, I like a lot of people, I like the what the board are asking me to do, their vision for the club," he said.

"I'm here, I believe I'm ready and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

A two-time Premier League winner as a player with Chelsea, Duff enjoyed a decorated period in the English game including stints at Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle and Fulham.

Having learned from some of the very best, the Dubliner is adamant that high standards will be central to any success he will have as a manager.

" A strength of mine is building relationships and connecting with people, getting good people in the changing room obviously on the staff as well, buy-in from everyone," he explained.

"For me, it all starts with standards, you can talk about coaching and ability and players, but it's all pointless if your standards aren't sky-high.

"So that's what we'll be trying to instill in everyone from day one."


The new boss has made no secret of his desire to implement some changes at the club.

Chief among them is an early return to pre-season - before Christmas - and the possibility of morning-time training sessions.

This, he explains, is consistent with the approach of top teams around the world.

"I think it [training in the morning] goes hand and hand with an elite training environment,"

"It also gives you the option to do a second session later on in the day but I just think that is when you should train, it's not rocket science.

"You go anywhere around the world, yes there may be the odd evening or afternoon session put in but I think afternoon's here encourages lads maybe here to stay up late, not prepare and maybe have the odd shandy or two.

"That's my plan, it's not signed off on because I realise here that guys have jobs, they need to pay bills because lets be honest we're not going to become rich whether it being a coach or a player or a coach here so I realise players have to double job, but to my mind, that's where it should be at."


Duff's arrival to the top job at Tolka Park comes the week after the club collected the First Division title.

Ian Morris departed having guided Shels back to the Premier Division, and Duff says staying there is the first objective.

"It's a chance to rebuild," he said of the opportunities that lie ahead.

"That might be strange after the team winning the First Division but I think it's a sleeping giant, yoyoing up and down from First Division back to prem, whatever's gone on before at Shelbourne for the past 10 or 15 years, I want to go the opposite way.

"I believe it'll be exciting, hopefully, we'll win games, I know we'll lose games, but I think going forward this season the most important thing is to bring stability to the club by staying up, they've had a wonderful season, they've won the league, but next season they have to stay up."

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Damien Duff Dublin Republic Of Ireland SSE Airtricity League Shelbourne