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Saturday 27 February 2021
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Damien Duff leaves Stephen Kenny's backroom team

No reason has been given for Duff’s exit, but it’s yet another blow for Stephen Kenny.

Damien Duff.
Damien Duff.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

DAMIEN DUFF HAS left his role as part of Stephen Kenny’s backroom staff. 

Duff served as Kenny’s number three with the senior international team, appointed along with Keith Andrews when Kenny took the job last April. He left a similar role with Celtic to return home to take the job with Ireland.

No reason has been given for Duff’s exit from the Irish set-up, and The42 understands that he remains in his role as Head Coach of Shelbourne’s U17s. 

In a brief statement released through the FAI, Duff said,  “I want to thank Stephen Kenny for the opportunity he gave me to coach with the senior Ireland team and I wish Stephen, Keith and the players all the very best of luck for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.”

Kenny, meanwhile, wished Duff well for the future. 

“Damien is an excellent coach as he proved in his time with us and his contribution to the Irish team was greatly appreciated by myself, my staff and the players and I wish him the very best of luck for the future.”

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Duff’s exit seems to be the latest blow to Kenny, who has endured a miserable start to life as the senior international manager, winning none of his first eight games in charge, scoring just once.

Duff was known as a strong supporter of Kenny – publicly describing Kenny last year as trustworthy – and strongly backed the manager in the ‘videogate’ saga that enveloped the side at the end of last year. 

His abrupt exit leaves Kenny with a position to fill ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in March. The role was occupied by Robbie Keane prior to Kenny’s taking charge, and Keane remains under contract at the FAI, though having not initially wanted Keane for the role, it would be surprising if Kenny picked him for the role in the wake of Duff’s exit. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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