IRELAND U21 captain Shane Duffy admits that he may have to consider leaving Everton if his club career is to progress, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.
Duffy, who won his 20th Ireland U21 cap in yesterday's European Championship defeat at home by Montenegro, is currently on a season-long loan deal from Everton to Championship side Yeovil Town.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has spoken highly of Duffy and the club's other loanees. But Duffy knows that he may have a battle on his hands to get into the Everton first team and, as he is now 22, he needs to get his club career moving.
"The manager there at Everton doesn't know me well enough yet to make a call but it won't be a big thing for me if I do have to leave Everton," says Duffy.
"I don't want to leave but I may have to for the sake of my career.
"I still believe I can make it at Everton but it's a matter of whether I can do that, if I can keep myself fit and in good form and establish myself," added Duffy (left), who is enjoying the challenge of keeping Yeovil in the Championship.
"It's going well at the moment. It's tough down there at the bottom end of the Championship but it's a good challenge for me, a good experience, it's not something I have been involved with before," he says. It's a good lesson for a player, it's the real world when you are fighting to stay in the division.
"There is feedback going back to Everton. I haven't spoken to the Everton manager in a while but I know they are happy with how I am doing, they say I am doing well and setting high standards but I won't really know what the plan is until I go back for pre-season with Everton next year."