'He has worked them like you would not believe during pre-season... they've been savaged'

Damien Duff’s reign as Shelbourne boss begins in earnest on Friday.

Damien Duff pictured at his unveiling as Shelbourne manager last November.
Damien Duff pictured at his unveiling as Shelbourne manager last November.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Updated Feb 16th 2022, 3:04 PM

WITH A NEW campaign kicking off this weekend, the latest episode of The Football Family – your weekly Irish football podcast – is a 2022 League of Ireland preview.

Our contributors address the main talking points ahead of a season that will see an Irish football legend take his first steps in management.

Following his appointment last November, Damien Duff will hope to make a positive start as boss of newly-appointed Shelbourne when they host St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday.

Duff’s prospects were discussed on this week’s show, with Gavin Cooney and David Sneyd both highlighting Shels’ arduous preparations for their return to the top flight.

“I would be surprised if he doesn’t do well, to be honest, because he is so highly rated as a coach, he has such a presence and personality about him, his work ethic is – by all accounts – absolutely absurd, and he’s generally made a success of everything he’s done in his life,” said Gavin.

Having been a second-tier club for all but three of the last 15 seasons, Shelbourne fans will be desperate to see the club re-establish itself as a Premier Division force.

David said: “In terms of what to expect as well from him, by all accounts he has worked them like you would not believe during pre-season. Chatting to a few of the people there, they’ve been savaged in pre-season.

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“Talking about training sessions that are very, very long – we’re talking a few hours for training sessions and stuff at a time; even lads talking that they’ve literally never experienced a pre-season like it and the level of detail and the work that’s gone into it, rather than just killing them for the sake of it.

“Obviously that’s how it’s felt in terms of the work they’ve had to do, but it’s done with a purpose.” 

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