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Duffy Looking On The Bright Side After Red Tape Blocks Irish Call-Up

First Team News
// 18 Nov 2020

Dundalk winger Michael Duffy was looking on the bright side of things on Wednesday morning after seeing his hopes of an international call-up dashed by red tape.

With his squad decimated by a combination of COVID-19, injuries and suspensions, Stephen Kenny wanted to bring Duffy into his Republic of Ireland panel for Wednesday night’s UEFA Nations League game with Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium.

The move, however, fell through as Duffy’s international transfer from Northern Ireland to the Republic has yet to be completed – even though the process started over two years ago – much to the frustration of Duffy and his former Lilywhites manager.

The Derryman trained with the Lilywhites squad at Oriel Park on Wednesday morning ahead of this weekend’s FAI Cup quarter-final tie with Bohemians and speaking to dundalkfc.com afterwards, he said he was trying to focus on the positives.

“It’s just unfortunate,” he said. “Obviously, I would have loved to have been involved as it’s a big aim for me and for everyone at the club to represent their country. 

“It’s good that Stephen has acknowledged me and that I’m in his thoughts, at least,” he added. “He knows the league very well and knows players he can trust. 

Michael Duffy scores Dundalk’s goal in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match with Bohemians at Dalymount Park in August. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

“I’m happy that he has been looking at me and wanted to bring me in. It just wasn’t meant to be on this occasion but, hopefully, it’s sorted for the future and if it happens again I’ll be ready.”

The 26-year-old will be hoping to catch Kenny’s eye on Friday night when Dundalk travel to Dalymount Park for the televised last eight clash with Bohs.

Keith Long’s side finished as runners-up this season, 11 points ahead of Dundalk, but Duffy feels that their expansive style of play will suit the Lilywhites who have found it difficult against sides who have been content to sit back and invite them on.

“It’s a massive game for us, the biggest of the season,” said Duffy. “The league didn’t go well this year and everyone was disappointed because we know we didn’t perform the way we can but it’s gone now and we just have to put that disappointment to one side. 

“We need to push on now and try and end the season with some silverware,” he added. “We’ve seen over the past few years how teams have built on a cup win the following year so that’s what we’ll be trying to do.

“We’ve had a few good games against Bohs this year and they’re a good footballing side who’ll come out and try and go for it. It’ll be a tough game and they have some great attacking players but we’ll be well up for it.”