Irish journalist Dan McDonnell joined The Football Show to discuss Damien Duff and the League of Ireland.
Damien Duff joined the League of Ireland to a lot of fanfare, but a lot of questions too.
The Shelbourne manager was somewhat of a surprise appointment and he hasn't disappointed in interviews ever since. And as a former Ireland international with over 100 caps, he's also the biggest name in the league. He is the face of the league ahead of the likes of Eoin Doyle and Jack Byrne, but without being at one of the best teams in the league.
But the celebrity status of Duff must not overshadow his contributions to the league. Dan McDonnell explains that Duff is fitting in perfectly to the league and is proving some of his doubters wrong.
"The first game was televised and all," McDonnell said.
"In some ways he's just slotted into the League of Ireland scene quite comfortably. Not everything is a big talking point. You can go to a Shels game and there'll be a handful of press lads talking to him and that's it...Some people who probably didn't know him were like 'He's going to jack it in, he'll be gone in three months, six months whatever.
"You kind of forget that he was working at underage League of Ireland level over the last couple of years. He had shown his ability to dedicate himself to something.
"That's what he's done."
Duff showed his managerial chops by changing the squad in Shelbourne without making radical moves in the transfer market. He has given the team a structure, created a philosophy and instilled a belief in the younger players.
Those younger players are key to his success now and moving forward into the future.
"He's actually built a team that is very unified. They've a little bit of a siege mentality thing going on. He's promoted some younger players across the season. It's a very different team at the end of the season that started it.
"Gavin Molloy, he's been a breakout star for them...he's just done a really good job."
Duff fits perfectly in the League of Ireland, but will any success at this level lead to him moving elsewhere? That's not a guarantee because of his pride in his team and his home.
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