“I know who they are” – Damien Duff says some Shelbourne players want the ‘easy life’

“I know who they are” – Damien Duff says some Shelbourne players want the ‘easy life’

Damien Duff has warned a couple of his Shelbourne players to buy in or get out.

You would think Damien Duff would have been pretty pleased with a 1-1 draw against Dublin rivals Bohemians on Monday night, but as somebody who won the Premier League and amassed 100 caps with Ireland, standards are beyond being content with a point from a possible three.

Speaking to the Irish IndependentDuff suggested that “one or two” players are holding back his ambitions for the club. The ex-Chelsea winger thinks they are unhappy with his demands and would prefer “an easy life”.

The bad news for those unnamed players is that Duff is insistent that such a mindset won’t be tolerated moving forward. Shelbourne have big ambitions and won’t wait around for those not willing to buy in.

Duff identifies Shelbourne players who want “an easy life”

“I have said it many times before. I am never happy with where we are,” he said.

“We have left points behind during the season. Every manager could say that. We left points behind. But you know the demands, I will never change. I will give my players plenty of love. I am there for them 24/7, even off the pitch.

“But I still know that one or two of them don’t like the demands. They want the easy life. At clubs you don’t get an easy life and that is what I have tried to create in 18 months.

“And guys that don’t like the demands, who say ‘ah jeez, the pressure’, they won’t be here.

“I know who they are. Demands is top level football. It is as simple as that. Yeah we have brought in quality but the demands is what has helped us creep up and become a good team over the 18 months.

“The demands is what creates the culture and it all has a knock-on effect.”


Duff’s comments might come as something as a surprise as, in many people’s eyes, Shelbourne are already overachieving under his stewardship. You would think he’d be pleased.

Shels’, who only won promotion back to the Premier Division in 2021,  find themselves in fourth place just nine points shy of league leaders Shamrock Rovers

Now though, Duff is ready to take the Dublin club to the next level. Assured of investment from Turkish owner Acun Ilicali, he’s in a position to raise the bar for his current squad.

It’s likely going to be a busy off-season for them as they look to break up the top three of Shamrock Rovers, Derry City and St Patrick’s Athletic next year – and that means any stragglers will need to be left behind.

In short: Shelbourne might be about to change, but we hope Duffer never does.