Damien Duff, formerly of Blackburn Rovers and Fulham, has landed his first senior management role with Irish outfit Shelbourne.
42-year-old Damien 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 most recently, Shelbourne.
Now, after around a year-and-a-half as a youth coach with Shelbourne, the club have confirmed his appointment as first-team head coach.
As confirmed on the club’s official website, former Blackburn Rovers and Fulham star Duff 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.
A new challenge
As he steps into first-team management for the first time, Damien Duff will have the backing of Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and plenty of other supporters.
It will be interesting to see how he fares with Shelbourne as he enters the next stage of his career in football.