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'I had to leave Everton' says Blackburn's Duffy

SHANE Duffy has moved away from Everton and hooked up with Blackburn Rovers to stop his career from "stagnating", the Ireland defender has revealed.

Duffy ended his long spell at Goodison Park in the last 24 hours as he agreed to leave and drop down a division with his transfer to Ewood Park, on a three year deal with a £1.5million price tag on his head.

The 22-year-old made his first-team debut for the Toffees back in 2009 but he has struggled to work his way into Roberto Martinez's plans and over the summer he came to the conclusion that his future lay elsewhere, so Blackburn have swooped before the transfer deadline closes.

Duffy, who made his senior Ireland debut at the end of last season, says that first team footnall is now the target following a series of loan spells away from Everton.

"It was a tough decision to leave Everton, of course. But I had the chance to come to a big club and play football and that was the main aim. Hopefully I can do that," says Duffy.

"It was a big thing for me. I sat down with my family and agent and spoke about that. I'm 22 now and I think it's a big thing for anyone at this age.

"It's all about developing as a player and the more I play football, the more I want to get better.

"Coming here is a great chance for that. Of course you want to stay at Everton - it's a top-five Premier League club - but it's so difficult to get in and that was the main factor in coming here.

"Last year I played 40 games (at Yeovil) and got on to the international scene so it was a good season for me. I didn't want to stay there and go backwards again," added Duffy, admitting that the move still happened quickly.

"I was just training at Everton and then after training I got the call that a fee was agreed and it was up to me whether I wanted to stay or go," Duffy explained.

"I went on loan last year and had a real benefit from it. I didn't want to sit around at Everton and wait for injuries so that was the decision I made. Hopefully it will be a good one."