Thursday 19 September 2019

Duff: I have a long way to go

Damien Duff admits his Irish career has not lived up to his own expectations
Damien Duff admits his Irish career has not lived up to his own expectations
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

DAMIEN DUFF has admitted that his Irish career has not met his expectations and the Fulham winger is determined to stay on in a green shirt for as long as possible to set the record straight.

The 30-year-old has endured a miserable period for his country since the career high of the World Cup in Japan and Korea in 2002 with a succession of injuries blighting his international record.

In particular, the last three years have been torrid for the Ballyboden native after an ill-timed move to Newcastle United.

Now, after his recent transfer to Fulham, the former Chelsea star is eyeing next summer's World Cup in South Africa and beyond. Indeed, while Stephen Ireland continues to shun the international game, Duff hopes he will still be around for the tilt to make it to the 2014 finals in Brazil.

"No," said Duff, when asked if his Irish career had been fulfilled, "But I still think I'm going to be around for a bit.

"I love playing for Ireland and so long as my body holds out I like to think I'll come over and meet up, yeah.

"I'll be 35 in four years' time when the competition comes around so, never say never. I'm still planning on playing when I'm 35 so hopefully I will, yes."

The Dubliner was not surprised to hear Manchester City midfielder Ireland give an interview at the weekend which confirmed his decision to stay away for the time being.

"I think from whispers for a long while now, we've kind of known that he wasn't going to come back so it's no great surprise but, yeah, it's disappointing," said Duff.

"He's a top player and he would bring a lot to the squad but it's not meant to be, so we'll carry on with what we've got and what's got us into a good position.

"I can only speak personally but there's no better feeling than to play for your country. It's strange but for whatever reasons, he doesn't want to."

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