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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

'Who'll ever take me, I'm not in it for the money now': Damien Duff on his return to League of Ireland football

The veteran has been linked with moves to Bray Wanderers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers.

DAMIEN DUFF IS almost ready to return to the League of Ireland but is remaining coy on which team he’ll sign for.

Back home for the last two weeks since his one-year stint in Australia with Melbourne City came to an end due to injury problems, the 36 year-old told The42 that barring any issues, he’ll be back to full fitness in two months.

“I’m trying to get fit at the minute and working hard. It’s always been an ambition of mine to play in my home league so hopefully I can get fit enough and strong enough to do it.”

“At the minute I’m just missing kicking a ball and even just running about. It’s been a bad enough injury. I’ve been out for three or four months already so I just want to get back fit and running and playing again and then we’ll make a decision. But I haven’t really got an affinity with any team here so we’ll see where it takes us. The plan is another eight weeks and that’ll be me so hopefully there won’t be any setbacks.”

Damien Duff Source: Photosport/Marty Melville/INPHO

Long-linked with a move to Bray Wanderers, latest reports suggest the ex-Chelsea and Newcastle winger is being courted by St Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers too. But Duff is just desperate to get back playing and says he’ll move to any team that are interested.

Who’ll ever take me. I just want to play, it’s as simple as that. I’m not in it for money now. It’d be nice to win trophies but I just love playing football and that’s what I’m aiming to do here in Ireland.”

With other former Irish internationals like Keith Fahey, Stephen McPhail and Liam Miller making the decision to move to the League of Ireland after successful stints in the English leagues, did that have any effect on Duff’s decision to come home?

“No, not at all. When I left for England, I knew I’d always come home, I always knew I wanted to play here. It wasn’t because anyone else was here. I make my own decisions and do what I want to do. It’s great to see them, especially (Keith) Fahey and Maccer (McPhail) playing so well at Rovers but I’ve always said I wanted to do it anyway.”

Liam Miller and Keith Fahey Liam Miller (left) and Keith Fahey have both returned to their roots after successful stints in England and further afield. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Duff moved to Australia last July, but injuries to his calf and ankle meant his season came to a premature end in February and he was released from Melbourne having scored just once in 15 appearances. Yet, he has no regrets.

“It was amazing for my wife and two kids – an amazing year we’ve had in our lives. I missed half the season but I’d still consider it a success. I was unfortunate to get the injury but it was an amazing experience even from a footballing point of view something I’ll always remember and I’ll always go back there because it’s a special place. It was tough, it was exciting but I enjoyed it.”

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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