Damien Duff on his way to Paradise after accepting Celtic coaching role
Damien Duff will return to the UK next month to fill the vacant coaching role with Celtic's reserve team. The former Ireland winger has spent the last two seasons as head coach of Shamrock Rovers' U-15s.
Following Shaun Maloney's departure as Celtic reserve team assistant manager in September, Duff was encouraged to apply for the vacancy by first-team manager Brendan Rodgers.
The pair are familiar with each other from the time Rodgers was working in the academy at Chelsea, where Duff won two Premier League titles.
It is understood the Dubliner was preferred over four other candidates and was at Parkhead on Thursday to watch Celtic's Europa League tie against Red Bull Salzburg.
Duff will take up the position with the club's second string on a full-time basis. The reserves were previously known as the Under-20 team until the Scottish Premiership re-titled the division for this season.
Duff, who made 100 appearances for Ireland, made it clear that he was interested in moving to Scotland when the possibility of landing the job became almost nailed-on last month.
"For me and most Irishmen, Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in the world," said the 39-year-old three weeks ago. "I would swim over to work there."
He has taken a dim view of the structures for the new national underage leagues in Ireland. This is believed to have played a key role in his decision not to stay at home.
According to Duff, his Rovers team didn't play competitive football for half of 2018.
Their season kicked off in March and ended in October, but June was a closed month due to the clash with Junior Certificate exams.
"Our players absolutely don't play enough games and train only twice or three times per week," he said. "That's a problem."