Friday 20 January 2017

It's great to be back playing in Ireland after 20 years away - Damien Duff

Published 15/07/2015 | 02:30

Former Irish international Damien Duff signs on as a Shamrock Rovers player yesterday under the watchful eye of manager Pat Fenlon DAVID MAHER/SPORTSFILE
Former Irish international Damien Duff signs on as a Shamrock Rovers player yesterday under the watchful eye of manager Pat Fenlon DAVID MAHER/SPORTSFILE

Damien Duff will train with his new Shamrock Rovers team-mates for the first time this morning after agreeing a deal to join the Hoops until the end of 2016.

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The former Irish international has made good on his long-term promise to finish his career in the League of Ireland and opted for the Tallaght side ahead of their Dublin rivals St Patrick's Athletic.

Duff will not be in a position to make his debut for his new employers until next month as he recovers from injury - and the August 7 derby meeting with the Saints could prove to be a realistic return date.

Rovers got the deal across the line earlier this week thanks to the financial support of their sponsors Hyundai and Pepper.

It has been reported that Duff will donate his wages to charity but it's understood that he will be paid directly by Rovers with the 36-year-old then free to do what he wants with the money.

The former Chelsea, Blackburn, Newcastle and Fulham winger is thrilled to be back in the game after his stint in Australia with Melbourne City was marred by problems with his ankle.

"I have always said that I wanted to come back and play in Ireland and I am very grateful to Pat (Fenlon) and the club for giving me the chance to do that at the biggest club in the country," said Duff.

"I am as excited about this move as I have been about any in my career. I left Ireland 20 years ago to go and make a career as a footballer and so now it's great to be back.

"And I am definitely not just here to see out my time as a player; I intend to make a positive contribution to Shamrock Rovers and to the league."

Irish Independent

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