Former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff has been confirmed as the new head coach of Shelbourne. The club announced the appointment at a press conference at the Clayton Hotel at Dublin Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
Duff takes over the role from Ian Morris whose last act in charge of the Reds was to get the Tolka Park outfit promoted back to the Premier Division after a one-year spell in the First Division.
Talking at the announcement, Duff was excited at taking on this new role.
“I'm delighted to take up the First Team Manager's position at Shelbourne. Having coached and managed our U17 National league team and been around the Club, I can see the plans and ambition in place here and am excited to begin a new chapter of Shelbourne's 126 year history.
"I'm extremely passionate about youth development in Ireland and about Irish football in general and see this as a great opportunity to help build something that both the Club, its fans and myself can be proud of. With the Club now in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, and the foundations being put in place by the Board and its Directors, I can't wait to start.”
Since retiring from playing, 42-year old Duff had taken a coaching role at underage level with Shamrock Rovers. He had a brief spell with Celtic before joining Stephen Kenny’s coaching staff. After just over ten months Duff left that role and focused his full attention on the Under-17 coaching role with Shels.
Duff’s Under-17 side will face Cobh Ramblers on Saturday in the Shield Final at Athlone Town Stadium (kick-off 2pm).
Damien played for Dublin schoolboy sides Lourdes Celtic and St Kevin's Boys before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1996. He made his debut for the Lancashire club on the last day of the 1996/97 season against Leicester City, making 184 league appearances in his seven years at Ewood Park.
In July 2003 Damien signed for Chelsea where he played for three seasons, making over 80 league appearances before moving north to sign for Newcastle United in July 2006. A further three years followed at St James' Park before he returned to London to join Fulham FC in August 2009.
Damien stayed at Craven Cottage for five seasons, making over 170 appearances for the London club and scoring 22 goals in that time. He was involved in the Europa League twice with Fulham, with the club reaching the final of the competition in the 2009-2010 season, although they lost to Athletico Madrid. Duff played in that match and scored only once in the competition, scoring in the 2-1 win over Wolfsburg in the quarter finals.
At the end of the 2013-14 season, Fulham were relegated and Damien Duff moved to Manchester City's sister club Melbourne City in the Australian League. During his short time there, he played alongside David Villa, Robert Koren and Cork City's Liam Miller. In the 2014-15 season, Duff played sixteen times for the club as they lost in the semi-finals stage of the league to Melbourne Victory.
In July 2015, after leaving Melbourne City early due to injury, Damien Duff returned to the Republic of Ireland and signed for Shamrock Rovers. He went on to make nine league appearances for the club as Shamrock Rovers finished third in the Premier Division. In December 2015, Damien announced his retirement from football.
Damien made his senior international debut against the Czech Republic in 1998 and has since won 100 caps. He scored eight goals during those caps, the most memorable being Ireland's third against Saudi Arabia in the 2002 World Cup.
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