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Duff: 'I get slaughtered in this country for training my lads five times a week'

The former Chelsea winger was speaking about the issues with Irish underage football.

Damien Duff at Roadstone Sports Club.
Damien Duff at Roadstone Sports Club.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

DAMIEN DUFF BELIEVES the dearth of talent breaking through to the Irish national team is down to the lack of time young players are devoting to their craft. 

The former Chelsea winger spoke about his experience managing at underage level with Shamrock Rovers, admitting that his training methods didn’t sit well with the parents of some of his players.

“What’s always been my problem with kids and I think the kids have to take some responsibility too and coaches at the clubs,” Duff said on RTÉ’s Champions League coverage last night.

Kids don’t touch a ball enough and that will never change. 

“I get slaughtered for it in this country for training my lads five times a week, training half six in the morning doing double sessions and you’re back at half six at night. I get slaughtered.

“That’s ‘dinosaur mentality’. You have to train five times a week. We went to play Chelsea during the season, they train seven times a week. But most teams train twice or three times a week, so that’s a problem already.”

Duff added that the underage leagues in this country are not long enough to foster proper development of young players.

“Do we play enough games? Absolutely not. We had our first game on 25 March and it ended at the end of October. Six months of football. For me, there should be another four months on top of that.

They do not touch a ball enough, and that’s an absolute fact.

“There’s good players coming through but the difference between good and great players is 11 months a year, training seven days a week.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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