Search icon


03rd Nov 2021

Damien Duff confirmed as Shelbourne manager and gives incredibly honest press conference

Robert Redmond

Duff Shelbourne

“It’s probably too late to tell them now but I’d do this for free.”

Damien Duff has been confirmed as manager of League of Ireland Premier Division side Shelbourne. The former Republic of Ireland winger, who won 100 caps for his country, takes over the newly-promoted side after previously working as Shels’ Under-17 coach.

The position is Duff’s first as a manager in senior football.

Duff Shelbourne

Damien Duff on becoming Shelbourne manager.

The 42-year-old was presented to the assembled media on Wednesday morning and delivered a refreshingly honest and open press conference.

“I know it’s a difficult gig, I know it’s a team coming up with not one of the biggest budgets,” Duff said.

“I don’t like losing games and don’t want to fail, I know a lot of the managers when they do fail in their first gig, they never get another managers’ role again but that’s stuff I am fine with. I’ll happily be a barista, I’m halfway through my course. It’s probably too late to tell them now but I’d do this for free.”

Duff Shelbourne

The former Ireland winger also revealed that he was initially unsure about accepting Shelbourne’s offer and gave careful consideration to his decision.

“I like my life, to go away with the kids and have my own time and secondly, it’s totally out of the comfort zone stuff,” he said.

“Am I scared? Absolutely. Do I feel uncomfortable? Absolutely. But I’ve been preaching to kids since day one about showing personality and courage which they can lack at times. For me to say no on Friday, I was lacking courage and personality. The board asked me to reconsider and I did and that was soul searching.”

Damien Duff on his ambitions for Shelbourne.

Duff was also said that Shelbourne are a ‘sleeping giant’, but the first priority is to avoid relegation from the Premier Division next season. The Dublin side won promotion from the First Division last season under Ian Morris after topping the table.

“My ambitions are sky high but if I’m realistic, where Shels are at, they’ve been yoyoing for a couple of years,” the former Chelsea winger said.

“They’re a sleeping giant but they have to stay in the league. The board have been amazing to me, they’ve assured me worst case that if we went down, that ‘Damien Duff is building something special here’. It’s an absolute sleeping giant.”