Damien Duff ready for Celtic departure as Irish nomination forces Neil Lennon to rethink


Damien Duff is expected to leave Celtic at the end of the season after being named to the Steven Kenny coaching team in the Republic of Ireland.

Former Dunfermline Athletic manager Kenny confirmed Duff as his assistant with Keith Andrews and Alan Kelly as goalkeepers coach yesterday.

Duff will continue to coach Neil Lennon and Celtic’s first team until the end of this campaign, but sources across the water expect him to take a job. full time with the Football Association of Ireland after that.

Unless Duff can be convinced to do both, it is likely that Lennon will have to add another coach to his Celtic team in the summer to help him and John Kennedy.

FAI Interim CEO Gary Owens said: “Stephen Kenny’s backstage caliber is first class and these are great additions to our senior coaching team.

“Keith and Damien have served Ireland so well as players and their experience will be an additional addition to the support team of our senior team.

“Keith and Stephen worked brilliantly with the U21 team and Damien, who is currently completing his UEFA Pro license with the FAI coaching department, impressed everyone with his coaching skills and transition from world class player to coach.

“Alan is familiar with international football indoors and has been part of the team in two World Cup finals.

“He is highly regarded as a coach of the Premier League team Everton and has enormous experience with Ireland. “

Kenny takes over from the U21 boss to replace Mick McCarthy. It was still part of the contingency plan that Kenny would succeed McCarthy after his contract expired over the summer, but has now been pushed forward by the shutdown of COVID-19.

Kenny will now play in the play-off against Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has yet to be postponed.

Owens added: “Together, Keith, Damien and Alan have so much to offer Stephen and his players that we are looking forward to the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers, the League of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers. “

Duff was named director of the Celtic reserve team in January of last year, but was quickly named coach of the first team when Brendan Rodgers left for Leicester City. The 41-year-old, who played for Chelsea, Blackburn and Newcastle United in a brilliant playing career, retained this role under Neil Lennon.


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