New Celtic defender Shane Duffy says lure of trying to win ten in a row was impossible to refuse

Centre-back was advised that moving north would be the ‘best decision he ever made’

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 10:46 pm
New Celtic signing Shane Duffy. Picture: Alan Harvey / SNS

Shane Duffy said the chance to be part of the Celtic side aiming to win an unprecedented tenth consecutive Scottish title made the offer to move to Parkhead impossible to turn down.

The Republic of Ireland defender grew up in Derry as a Celtic fan and insisted he would have come to the club in “any year”.

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He was advised by former players that it would be the “best decision he ever made”.

Duffy has signed a one-year loan deal from Brighton and is relishing the prospect of trying to deliver ten in a row.

“To have a chance to be a part of it was huge,” said the 28-year-old. “I spoke to a few players who played here. They were saying if you go and do it, it will be the best decision you make. It was a no-brainer.”

Duffy admits to pinching himself that he had made good on a dream he had held since he made the trip over on the boat from Ireland as a nine-year-old to attend his first Celtic match with his father Brian. The only tinge of sadness in the move is that his dad could not share in his joy over it, having died suddenly aged only 53 a mere three months ago.

“I was emotional when it got done because he was everything to me with my football. It was me and him,” the player said. “It was emotional last week. It was the first Ireland match he missed. And he won’t be at my first Celtic match. So I’ll be emotional when I finally get to play. I will just do it for him.”

Duffy could get the opportunity to make that debut when Celtic face Ross County at Dingwall on Saturday. Already, though, he concedes he has one eye on a first taste of the fabled fixture with Rangers, which he never experienced as a fan. The derby in five weeks will bring him into contact with a great friend from his time at Brighton in Connor Goldson. Not that the Ibrox defender wanted their paths to cross again in such fashion. Duffy concedes he doesn’t know how much they will be able to get to see each other away from the pitch either.

“He actually told me not to come. He said ‘stay away’,” Duffy stated of Goldson’s tongue-in-cheek response to his loan switch. “But I am very close with him from our Brighton days.

“It’s a difficult one. It’s different up here but we are close so, yeah. He is still my friend so it’s hard to tell what will happen because the rivalry is so fierce. He’s a mate but listen, when I play against him he won’t be a mate. He will be the exact same.”

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