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Shelbourne’s Luke Byrne on working with Damien Duff: ‘It’s an amazing apprenticeship for me’

Luke Byrne Damien Duff

Shelbourne’s Luke Byrne is having quite the coaching apprenticeship.

Shelbourne defender, and club captain, Luke Byrne has hailed the influence that Damien Duff is having on his coaching career at the club.

Byrne and Duff work together with the Reds’ Under-17 side, with Duff as Head Coach. Byrne previously worked with the former Chelsea winger at Shamrock Rovers with the Hoops’ Under-15 side.

And Byrne, 28, is hoping that he can continue to lean off Duff’s knowledge and experience at Tolka Park as the Reds continue to push on both on and off the pitch.

Luke Byrne on working with Damien Duff.

Having worked with Duff at Shamrock Rovers, Byrne opened up on what it is like working with the former Irish international at Shels once again.

“I love it,” Byrne told LOI Arena. “I worked with him at Rovers so I struck up a relationship with him there. I’ve really enjoyed my time working under him at Shels at the Under-17s. We have a really good group of young players..

“One of our players David Toure has made his first-team debut this year, and four of the lads have received their first international caps. As a team and a club we are very proud of them, and there’s been no internationals in the club since 2016 so we’re very proud.

“The results across the academy at Shels have improved, so the standard has come right up in the academy. A lot of hard work has gone in by a lot of people.

“Going back to Duffer, it’s an amazing apprenticeship for me as a young coach to learn off and watch him. I love balancing it with playing.”

Luke Byrne has ambitions to make it as a manager in the League of Ireland.

The League of Ireland’s age profile is lowering year on year in terms of playing, and it is doing the same in terms of managers.

Byrne will be hoping that he can join a young cohort of managers plying their trade in the league once his playing days come to a close – while having a headstart on his current playing peers.

“Another reason why I started [coaching] young was because I know that I want to be a manager,” he added. “I want to be a manager when I’m young and I want to get a head start on people.

“The majority will retire and then start their badges but if I retire at 35 I’ll have over 10 years of coaching experience so there was a bit of long-term thinking on my behalf there.”

Luke Byrne learning from one of the best in Damien Duff.

Currently, there are several young managers in the League of Ireland, with the old managerial cycle seemingly at odds with a new era of thinking by clubs.

Whether that stays or not, Byrne believes that times are changing in the league, with young coaches set to reap the rewards of that change in mindset.

“The culture has changed a lot in the League of Ireland with a lot of clubs trusting young coaches getting first-team jobs,” he explains.

Luke Byrne Damien Duff

“Look at Ian Morris, he took the Shels job at 31, that’s incredible really. He was just fresh out of playing. It’s like playing, you need to get your hours out on the grass.

“You can’t just stop playing and say you’re ready to take over. Ian would have done thousands of hours out on the grass, Stephen Kenny the same and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

The latest episode of LOI Arena is free to listen to here. The lads are joined this week by Shelbourne captain Luke Byrne, where he speaks about the Reds’ league title, his own mental health battles and learning from Damien Duff at both Shamrock Rovers and his current club.

Fans can sign up or register to listen for free at

You can also follow the show on Twitter and contact us via email at [email protected].

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