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Damien Duff in the frame for Shelbourne job following departure of Ian Morris


Damien Duff is in the frame for the Shelbourne job

Damien Duff is in the frame for the Shelbourne job

Damien Duff is in the frame for the Shelbourne job

Shelbourne are expected to clarify Damien Duff's intentions before committing to seeking an external replacement for departed boss Ian Morris.

It's understood the Shels hierarchy would be very keen on U17 manager Duff stepping up to become first team manager after the exit of Morris following weekend talks that led to a parting of ways.

The assumption has always been that Duff's relationship with Shels would never go beyond underage level given that his involvement there stemmed from his passion for the area of youth development. He joined the Reds in June 2020.

In the aftermath of the Morris news emerging, the initial word in football circles was that Duff had ruled out any interest in the position.

But the situation is not believed to be that clearcut with Duff thought to be open minded on at least giving the idea consideration.

Shels are unlikely to make firm moves for another candidate before getting certainty over where the 42-year-old stands.

Duff has always been single minded when it comes to making decisions over his future, walking away from Stephen Kenny's Ireland set-up in January in the aftermath of the Videogate controversy and subsequent investigation.

Prior to that, he was assistant at Celtic but the option with Ireland came up as he was already making plans to move his family back home.

In interviews, Duff has always been cool on the idea of managing at League of Ireland level but Shels would like him to change his mind.

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Morris has exited his post despite leading the club to promotion from the First Division.

A Shels statement said Morris (34) had decided to leave, but it's understood that followed discussions around a change of direction for 2022 and there had been speculation around his position in recent weeks.

Morris was named Shels boss ahead of the 2019 season and secured promotion at the first attempt but 2020 ended in bitter disappointment with relegation via a playoff with Longford.

Shels opted to keep faith with their man so they could immediately bounce back and that mission was achieved with a degree of comfort.

However, Sporting and Technical Director Alan Caffrey is the most influential figure behind the scenes and will be central to any strategy decisions going forward.

In a club statement, chairman Andrew Doyle said: "Ian Morris is and will always be a Shelbourne legend. His record as manager speaks for itself.

"From a standing start three years ago, with no prior management experience, Ian has won two titles in three seasons and has had an extraordinary win record of 67 per cent in all competitive matches.

“Ian’s professionalism, people skills, commitment, work ethic and integrity are of the highest calibre. Ian will always be welcome back at Tolka Park."

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