Damien Duff is back in Irish football.
Following a two-year spell working with Neil Lennon at Celtic, the former Chelsea winger is back on home soil. Duff was recently announced as a member of Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland backroom staff.
News of Kenny and Duff’s involvement excites fans and the 100-time capped international has outlined that Kenny is the main reason he’s come on board.
Speaking on RTE on Friday, Duff had some harsh words for the FAI and the “trustworthy football people in Ireland” before citing his decision to come back was all down to Kenny.
“You’re stuck with me”
“I’m back after two exciting years from a coaching career point of view.
“Listen, I always try to be honest. I never had an urge to go and work with the FAI, not even one per cent of me. That’s because of things gone on in the past that everyone knows about.
“After meeting Stephen Kenny just before lockdown, there was still social distancing going on trust me. Just meeting him, and anyone that’s met him knows that he is a trustworthy guy, you can get that straight away.
Damien Duff FAI
“There’s not many trustworthy football people in Ireland if I’m brutally honest. His passion, his vision, his plan just excited me.
"You're stuck with me"
Damien Duff says his return to FAI and Irish soccer fold is entirely down to Stephen Kenny. Watch Man City v Real Madrid live now on @rte2 and @rteplayer #rtesoccer #ucl pic.twitter.com/RV3n3qEkbH
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) August 7, 2020
“I want to help him, I want to help the player, and I want to help any young player in the country. That’s why I’ve gotten involved with Shelbourne as well.
“I’m back, you’re stuck with me. Hopefully the FAI will be stuck with me for a while, but it’s all down to Stephen Kenny.”
Kenny and his backroom team, including Duff, have been busy preparing for Ireland’s UEFA Nations League games against Finland and Bulgaria, as well as the Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia in October. In the meantime, Duff is also working with the Shelbourne U17s.