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Duff: Coaching at Celtic is next best thing to playing 

The Irishman says he wouldn't have left home to join any other club.

Celtic's new reserve team coach Damien Duff has said he wouldn't have left Ireland to join any other club.

Duff, who gained fame as a winger for Chelsea, Fulham, Blackburn, Newcastle and Republic of Ireland, has left a job as part of Shamrock Rovers' coaching staff to make the move to Lennoxtown. 

He'll be tasked with helping the club's young players make the transition through to the first team and said he was delighted to have made the move.

"I have been here ten days and I have loved every minute of it," he said. "When I went through the interview process six to eight weeks ago, it was the only club I would have left Ireland for, brought my family and took my kids out of school.

"If anyone else had come calling - not that they did - it (Celtic) was the only club I would have left for, that's how happy I am.

"I've had the kits all the way through. Celtic and Man United were my teams. Obviously, the club is massive and I think you know the Irish connection anyway, no one has to teach you that back home, it is in your blood from the day you are born.

"The next best thing when you finish is obviously coaching and the next best thing for me, I didn't play for Celtic, but to come and coach here is top class."

'I would have done anything at 16 to be a footballer, I would have run over my granny.'
Damien Duff

The new role reunites Duff with Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, who he worked with at Chelsea.

"That's where I got to know him," he said. "He was brilliant with me there. We would talk about Celtic when were there.

"It is obviously my dream club and it was his dream club then, he was always a Celtic fan and we would have a bit of craic and banter back then, 15, 16 years ago.

"We go back a long way, but I wasn't offered the job just because Brendan is here. I went through the interview process like everyone else and worked hard for it.

"He is definitely an inspiration and influence, he is one of the best in the world."

The former winger said he'll be a demanding character as a development coach and felt modern youth players sometimes lacked the desire he had as a player.

Duff said: "I am not claiming to know everything. I feel like I am learning the game all over again on the touchlines. It is a massive role and I am going to embrace it.

"I think across the board, in England, Ireland, Scotland, lads just do enough and they think that will get you to be a footballer, but it is not, you have to do more than enough every day.

"I would have done anything at 16 to be a footballer, I would have run over my granny.

"I will help them all I can."

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