Ireland hero Duff to sign for Shamrock Rovers


John Fallon

Shamrock Rovers are on the verge of announcing the signing of former Ireland international Damien Duff.

The 100-times capped winger had vowed to finish his decorated playing career in the League of Ireland, with the Hoops always the likely destination for his swansong.

St Patrick's Athletic provided the main competition to Rovers, but the 36-year-old has always insisted that monetary gain wasn't his motivation in the selection process.

"As for the money thing, I'm not in it for the money," he stressed. "It's for the joy of playing the game."

Budgetary restrictions had constantly been cited by Rovers boss Pat Fenlon as a likely impediment to recruiting the two-time Premier League winner once Duff revealed in March his definitive plan to seek an Irish club when the transfer window opened in July.

Although Rovers wouldn't comment on Duff's imminent signing last night, Fenlon will face questions on the topic today when the club hosts a pre-arranged press conference for Rovers' Europa League first-round second-leg tie against Luxembourg team Progres Niederkorn.

Ballyboden man Duff's A-League career in Australia was brought to a premature halt in February after suffering a serious ankle injury.

Ireland team doctor Alan Byrne has been helping Duff regain his fitness since the player returned to his homeland.

See Sport: Page 56