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Damien Duff Recalls Harrowing Celtic Defeat as He Leads Shelbourne Into Europe

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Damien Duff has recalled one of Celtic’s most embarrassing European defeats as he prepares to lead his Shelbourne side into the Europa Conference League.

The Irishman joined the Hoops as a youth coach in January 2019 but it was only a few weeks until he was promoted to the first-team amid Brendan Rodgers’ departure to Leicester.

Brendan Rodgers

Under Neil Lennon’s stewardship, Duff then spent just over a year as a coach. He then had a brief spell with Ireland before being appointed Shelbourne manager in November 2021.

The 45-year-old has now been in charge of the Irish league leaders for over 100 Games, and on Thursday, will manage them in Europe for the first time.

Indeed, his side has been drawn to face St. Joseph’s of Gibraltar in the first round of Europa Conference League qualification.

Ahead of the first leg, which takes place on Thursday, Duff has not let complacency kick in and cited Celtic’s defeat to Lincoln Red Imps in 2016 as to why the tie could prove difficult.

“Teams do struggle over there, so our home Game is absolutely massive”, he said (Irish Independent via RecordSport).

“I think Brendan Rodgers’ first Game at Celtic, they lost 1-0 to the Imps. So I know how difficult it is. I’ve watched the Ireland Games there, I know the type of Games they are, the ball is hardly in play, it’s like a Game of basketball at times.”

Rodgers’ Celtic career got off to the worst possible start with the loss in Gibraltar, but things only improved from then on in.

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