Duff once again insists hiring an Irish manager by FAI won't make a difference

Duff once again insists hiring an Irish manager by FAI won't make a difference

Shelbourne boss Damien Duff has doubled down on his assertion that any potential Irish managerial appointment by the FAI will not fix the problems that persist with the current Irish football team.

The Irish Times has reported that the FAI will have a new Ireland boss in place on a permanent basis for the first time since Stephen Kenny's sacking back in November on April 12.

Names like Gus Poyet, Roy Keane, and Lee Carsley have all been linked, and for many, it has been a long-drawn-out process that has been described as a "farce."

Duff, who himself had been linked, claimed that his link to the Ireland job felt like a "box-ticking exercise."

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said, "Maybe through someone, through someone, through someone, someone asked me if I would be interested in speaking to someone. Obviously, my answer was no. But how real it was, I don't know.

"I'm sure it was just a box ticker because it was never going to happen and it's never going to happen anytime soon.”

On Friday night, the Dublin native threw a dig at the Irish setup, saying that "the League of Ireland was more important to fans than the national team."

Duff has doubled down on his remark and said that anyone who has an issue with it can ring him up to discuss his opinion.

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

Adding further to why he wouldn't take the job, Duff admitted that he thought the grass wasn't always greener.

“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, trust, and care about. 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.”

Duff has also asked the question of why the FAI doesn't just appoint John O'Shea because of his classiness. O'Shea is the current interim boss and resided over the team for the friendlies over Belgium and Switzerland last month.

O'Shea is now expected to step aside for the unknown manager that is said to be announced on April 12th.

“John O’Shea is there. He is a classy guy and 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 by 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."