BOIP meets… Shane DuffyPosted: August 16, 2011
Premier League outfit Everton came over to Dublin for a quickly-arranged preseason friendly with Bohemians in Dalymount Park on Monday August 15th. The game was organised in the wake of The Toffee’s league opener away to Spurs being postponed due to the riots in London last week. The game ended in a one all draw, with Jermaine Beckford scoring early on in the game. Anto Flood scored the equaliser for the home side in the second half, in front of a packed Dalymount Park.
Everton youngster and Ireland Under-21 international Shane Duffy played the first 45 minutes of the game, and had a little time to talk to Balls Out In Public afterwards.
Asked about his and Everton’s preseason preparation, Duffy seemed relatively content with the work they’ve done so far. “Yeah it’s been alright so far. Just enjoying it, trying to get fit and that. Yeah I was impressed with Bohs too, they looked good. Obviously it was just a run out for us, improve our match fitness and that. So that was good.” Duffy had a lot of time for the fans after the game, signing plenty of autographs and getting in a lot of pictures. The 19 year old only had good things to say about the Blues’ fans. “The support was brilliant, as always. Not just here tonight, but wherever we go.”
Duffy was also involved in the recent Ireland Under-21 friendly with Austria, played in The Showgrounds. Ireland won that game 2-1 thanks to a late goal courtesy of Robbie Brady, who also scored Ireland’s first. Duffy knows that it will still take a lot of work to hold down a starting position in the Under 21 team, before breaking into the senior squad. “Ah, well obviously I just have to be patient, and try to improve.” We then asked the Derry-born defender about his involvement in the team for the upcoming season; “Hopefully I’ll be going to the qualifiers in the next couple of weeks, try and qualify with the under 21s and then push on.” Ireland will play Hungary in Sligo on September 1st in a Euro 2013 qualifier, while on the 6th Noel King’s men travel to Turkey who beat Liechtenstein 5-0 in the group’s only fixture to date.
The conversation then shifted focus to the upcoming season. Duffy spoke with a lack of confidence about his hopes of breaking into the Everton senior team; “Ah I dunno, you have to be patient really and see if you can get a chance. But I just have to wait and see really. As far as personal goals for the season goes, I just want to play first team football. It depends where it is and that, and I’ll just see what happens.” As for the rest of the squad, Shane says that the aim for the season is to improve on last year’s 7th place finish. “Yeah, we’ve a good squad and great manager so hopefully we can do better than last season and push on and try and get Europe.” Any predictions? “Ah I dunno, we’ll just see what happens,” Duffy laughed.
Everton begin their Premier League campaign this coming weekend with newly promoted QPR visiting Goodison Park. Rangers were comfortably beaten 4-0 by Bolton Wanderers in Loftus Road, their own home stadium. This result comes as good news for The Toffees, who have been notorious slow starters in recent seasons.