HomeJobsDamien Duff: Give John O’Shea Ireland job but LOI is the future

Damien Duff: Give John O’Shea Ireland job but LOI is the future


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The Shels boss last week said that the return of the LOI was more important than the international break and he doubled down on those views in the aftermath of his side’s Easter Monday draw with Derry City, indicating that the latest developments in the FAI’s hunt for a senior boss had passed him by with mixed reports on Gus Poyet’s intentions across the weekend.

League of Ireland Premier Division review as the Irish Independent’s Daniel McDonnell and Seán O’Connor look back on all the Easter Monday action, with Shelbourne sitting eight points clear at the top after a stalemate against Derry City

Duff was critical of the process last month, when he confirmed that he didn’t speak with the FAI after a vague attempt to set up a meeting that he felt was a box-ticking exercise. The 100-times-capped Ireland winger says he wouldn’t be interested in the job anyway because he is happy where he is.

While he thinks the FAI should turn to O’Shea at this stage, his broader point is that nothing positive will happen over the longer term unless there is sustained investment in League of Ireland academies that will be responsible for the next generation.

“Gus turned it down. Or did he turn it down? I don’t know. . . what I said the other day, I meant it. I’m looking to the future and the quality of the Irish team in the next five, 10 years is going to come from the league. Everyone is probably saying that Duffer is crazy. I’m not crazy, I’m emotional.

“John O’Shea is there. He is a classy guy, has surrounded himself with a good backroom team, why not leave him at it?

“I hope John gets the job, if he doesn’t I hope the person who comes in does a good job. I am so transfixed on the league. This has been the best two-and-a-half-years of my life,” continued Duff, explaining why the Ireland role wouldn’t turn his head.

Today’s Sport News in 90 Seconds – 2nd April

“The grass is not always greener, I am surrounded by players I trust. Trust goes a long way with me. I work with a lot of quality people that I love, I trust, I care about it. I would be crazy to walk away from something like that, something I love.

“I’m sure everybody in the Irish team, even players, might have looked at that quote the other day and probably thought I disrespected them or whatever. Get them to ring me, text me, and I’ll ring them and explain why. I stand over it, and when I say the league is the future it comes from the academies. Get the best manager in the world, Pep Guardiola or whoever, it still starts with academies. The manager who comes in (now) will be long gone by the time academies start churning out the players.

“That’s why the league is the future. I love my national team. I stand over again what I said – the bit (in Irish football) that gives me hope and pleasure is watching the league, not the international break. I absolutely believe that a lot of football fans around the country were waiting for the league to come back and the international window to finish.

“I don’t even know what to say about the international scene. I don’t want it to come across that I am bashing it. I am not.

“I’m not saying pick five players off our team or off Derry. When I say the league is the future, what I mean is the league starts with academies. That’s what I mean by the future. Over time the players will come through.”

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