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duff at the top No-nonsense Damien Duff is ready for Shelbourne FC mission

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Damien Duff is to be unveiled as Shelbourne's new manager. Photo: Sportsfile

Damien Duff is to be unveiled as Shelbourne's new manager. Photo: Sportsfile

Damien Duff is to be unveiled as Shelbourne's new manager. Photo: Sportsfile

Damien Duff will today be unveiled as the new boss of Shelbourne with the club’s players already told that preparations for the 2022 season will start before Christmas.

Shels have convinced Duff (42) to accept a first job in senior management and step up from his current voluntary role with the U-17 side.

He will be presented to the media at a lunchtime press conference today, but his work is already under way, with the former Ireland international in the process of assembling a backroom team and setting out provisional plans for the road ahead.

That includes an early start to pre-season and the moving of training from the evenings to the mornings, which will mean that Shels will effectively be joining the ranks of full-time clubs.

Duff wanted assurances that he would be backed and given control over the direction of the first team.

He is expected to be joined at Tolka Park by Joey O’Brien, who has been lined up as his number two. O’Brien (35) has just won back-to-back titles with Shamrock Rovers, but his contract is up and he has coached at underage level with the Hoops. It’s understood that another ex-Irish international could become a part of the new set-up.

Duff began his association with Shels last summer while he was a full-time member of Stephen Kenny’s Ireland coaching staff, but he walked away from that role at the beginning of this year.

He joined the Shamrock Rovers backroom staff after winding down his playing career in Tallaght, but left for an opportunity with Celtic, where he started with the U-20 side before a promotion to the first-team set-up. Family reasons and the offer from Kenny resulted in a move home.

Duff has replaced Ian Morris, who departed the post after leading Shels to promotion from the First Division. Morris is now believed to be a candidate for a coaching role with League Two side Scunthorpe after they showed their managerial team the door.

Meanwhile, relegated Longford Town last night announced Daire Doyle was leaving by mutual consent.

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