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DAMIEN DUFF DILEMMA

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CELTIC have been hit with a Damien Duff dilemma after the coach was named as Stephen Kenny’s assistant in the Republic of Ireland management shake-up.

The appointment could see one of Neil Lennon’s key men leave his backroom staff at the end of the season.

Former Dunfermline boss Kenny confirmed Duff along with Keith Andrews in his new-look team while Alan Kelly was named as his goalkeeping coach.

The Irish wing legend will continue as first-team coach at the Hoops, but he could take up the international role on a full-time basis.

If he decides he cannot combine the posts, Lenon will have to look to bring in another assistant alongside John Kennedy.

FAI interim CEO Gary Owens confirmed: “The calibre of Stephen Kenny’s backroom team is top class and these are great additions to our senior team coaching staff.

HOOPS TREBLE…the backroom team of Damien Duff, John Kennedy and manager Neil Lennon.

“Keith and Damien served Ireland so well as players and their experience will be such an addition to our senior squad’s support team.

“Keith and Stephen have worked brilliantly together with the Under-21 squad and Damien, currently finishing his UEFA Pro Licence with the FAI’s Coach Education department, has impressed everyone with his coaching skills and his switch from world class player to coach.

“Alan knows international football inside and was part of the squad at two World Cup finals.

“He is highly regarded as a coach with Premier League side Everton and has huge experience with Ireland.”

Kenny takes the step up from Under-21 boss to replace Mick McCarthy, as CQN reported. He will now take charge of the Nations League play-off against Bosnia and Herzegovina which has still to be rescheduled.

Duff was named as Hoops reserve team manager in January last year, but was fast-tracked to first-team coach when Brendan Rodgers left for Leicester City a month later.

The 41-year-old, who turned out for Chelsea, Blackburn and Newcastle United in a glittering playing career, has maintained that role under Lennon.

 
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