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DUFFY’S CELTIC PLEDGE

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NEW Bhoy Shane Duffy hopes the Celtic fans see him at his peak.

The Republic of Ireland central defender was unveiled at Parkhead today after rubber-stamping his season-long loan deal from Brighton.

The 28-year-old lifelong Hoops fan said he has been overwhelmed by the support he has already been given the club’s followers and he is determined to repay them on the pitch.

Duffy, speaking exclusively to Celtic TV, said: “You could say there’s more pressure on me given I’m also a fan, but I’m a believer in my own ability and where I am in my career.

“I’m at a good age, I’m coming into my prime and, hopefully, Celtic fans will get to see me in my peak. I’m at a good stage now, I need some games to get up and running, but I’m just excited.

“I just need to be me and for the team and the manager. I’m a solid defender who simply wants to keep the ball out of my net and do anything to win at all costs. That’s a mentality I grew up with and I’ll never change.

“I’ll give everything for the club, for my team-mates and for me – and that’s always been my attitude towards football and life. If I can bring that to the team, then, hopefully, that can be good for everyone.”

Duffy added: “It feels great to finally be here. It’s been a really busy week for me, getting it done and not being here was difficult. I had a lot of things on my mind, but I landed in Glasgow last night and I’m just buzzing now to get going.

“It’s been crazy so far. Obviously, with social media these days, you get to see quite a bit of it and it was quite overwhelming.

“I know what the fans are and what they mean and while I gathered how they’d feel about an Irishman, coming from where I’m from in Derry, I had no idea that it’d be as big as it’s been so far.

“That’s incredible and I just can’t wait to get down to business now and do it on the pitch for them.”

Duffy has played only two competitive games this season – the UEFA Nations League ties against Bulgaria – where he scored his country’s late equaliser in a 1-1 draw – and the 1-0 loss to Finland in Dublin.

Although he is short of match fitness, the powerhouse centre-back is likely to go straight into Neil Lennon’s first-team squad for the Premiership encounter against Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday.

 
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