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Hurt Duff: My family come first.

Byline: GABRIEL MCKAY

DAMIEN DUFF says he only left his "dream job" at Celtic to spend more time with his family.

The former Chelsea winger had a coaching role with the Parkhead club, but departed at the end of the 2019-20 season.

He'll now focus on his work with the Irish national team, but Duff admits leaving Glasgow wasn't an easy choice.

He told Celtic's website: "Celtic was my dream job.

"I'm absolutely gutted, devastated to be leaving, especially at this time, when we're going for 10.

"It was absolutely a family decision. There is no job in the world that would have taken me away from the role I was in. I'd love to be a brilliant coach one day, but I think it's more important at the minute that I'm just a brilliant dad.

"For the first while I was away, my kids were like, 'Daddy, Daddy, stay for nine and 10', but as time went by, it was more, 'Daddy, Daddy, when are you coming home?' Celtic is one big family, but my family is here as well.

"The only club that would have taken me away from home was Celtic, but with my family based in Ireland, the only thing that would have taken me away from Celtic was my family."

Duff became one of Neil Lennon's key lieutenants, but he admits he wasn't sure about going into coaching.

He said: "I'd never really planned out a coaching career. I thought I'd try my hand at my coaching badges, and from there everything happened a lot quicker than I would have thought. In the space of three to four months, I went from coaching 15-year-olds at Shamrock Rovers to being on the sidelines at Tynecastle."

CAPTION(S):

CELTIC BOSS Neil Lennon

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:GABRIEL MCKAY
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2020
Words:295
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