Damien Duff has been appointed as Shelbourne’s new head coach, in a week when the northside club collected the First Division title to return to the top flight.
A two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea, Duff had been working with the Shels under-17 side.
42-year-old Duff has spent time working as a youth coach and assistant manager since his retirement in 2014, spending time with Shamrock Rovers, Celtic, the Republic of Ireland and recently with Shels.
Now, after around a year-and-a-half as a youth coach, the club have confirmed his appointment as first-team head coach.
The former Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea star takes over ahead of the 2022 Premier Division following the departure of Ian Morris last month.
The Ballyboden-born coach heads into his first foray into senior management with an esteemed playing career behind him.
After starting out in St. Kevins Boys’ youth academy, Duff joined Blackburn Rovers in 1995. He would remain at Ewood Park for eight years, playing 157 times after working his way through the youth ranks. He chipped in with 26 goals and four assists before being snapped up by Chelsea in 2003.
A three-year stint at Chelsea saw him play 125 times, winning the Premier League twice before departing for Newcastle United.
Duff remained with the Magpies for three years before switching to Fulham, where he would stay for the next five years. With the Cottagers, the winger played 173 times, the most appearances he made for a single club across his career. In the process, he scored 22 goals and laid on 30 assists.
He then rounded off a successful career with stints at Melbourne City and Shamrock Rovers before entering coaching.
Speaking as the news was announced, Duff said: “I’m delighted to take up the First Team Manager’s position at Shelbourne.
“Having coached and managed our U17 National league team and been around the Club, I can see the plans and ambition in place here and am excited to begin a new chapter of Shelbourne’s 126 year history.
“I’m extremely passionate about youth development in Ireland and about Irish football in general and see this as a great opportunity to help build something that both the Club, its fans and myself can be proud of.
“With the Club now in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, and the foundations being put in place by the Board and its Directors, I can’t wait to start.”
Shelbourne FC is delighted to confirm the appointment of Damien Duff as Men's First Team Head Coach.
Read more below with press conference at 12pm imminent.
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— Shelbourne FC (@shelsfc) November 3, 2021