“I would’ve been unhappy with myself if I stayed.”
Damien Duff has spoken about his decision to step down as Republic of Ireland coach. Duff walked away from his role on Stephen Kenny’s backroom team in January.
The former Chelsea winger only joined the FAI staff last year and was highly rated as a coach by Kenny, his assistant Keith Andrews and the Ireland squad.
Damien Duff’s departure from Ireland role.
Neither the FAI nor Duff revealed the reasons behind his departure, but it was not thought to be due to any personal issue with Kenny.
Instead, reports suggested that his exit was a result of an FAI investigation into a motivational video shown to the Ireland squad ahead of a friendly against England last November.
The FAI judged that Kenny and his staff did no wrong with the video, but Duff reportedly did not appreciate that the incident had been investigated.
Damien Duff: I don’t regret Ireland exit.
The former Ireland winger spoke about his departure for the first time on Tuesday night.
Duff, a pundit on RTE’s Champions League coverage, says he does not regret leaving his role with the national team but did not elaborate on the exact reasons behind his exit.
“Not one day has passed where I have regretted it,” Duff said.
“I know it’s not ideal for the manager, but at the same time for him to bring in a better coach than me.
“He’s done that already on the goalkeeping side with Dean Kiely, a top coach who is coaching at the top level in the Premier League every week.
“And at the end of the day, the only person who has lost out is me. You’re soon forgotten. So, staff, players – it’s all water under the bridge.
“I’ve given up the chance to represent my country, which is a massive honour. I’ve lost the chance to coach elite players, which doesn’t come around very often.
“I felt strongly about things. I would’ve been unhappy with myself if I stayed. It’s as simple as that.”
You can watch the full video below.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) February 16, 2021