Monday 24 October 2016

Damien Duff deal goes on backburner as Rovers gear up for UEFA crunch tie

Pat Fenlon
Pat Fenlon

ANY deal to bring Damien Duff back home to Dublin to play for Shamrock Rovers will have to wait.

But as the Hoops gear up for tonight’s Europa League tie at home to Luxembourg outfit Progrès Niederkorn (8pm), Rovers boss Pat Fenlon knows that progress past Progrès, and the cash prize of €200,000 which would accompany a place in the second qualifying round, would not only afford him more scope to add to his squad but also to push the club onto another level in other areas.

Rovers go into the home leg of their first qualifying round tie with a 0-0 draw from the away leg and, barring some major upsets, Rovers will face Norwegian side Odd BK in the second round.

Boss Fenlon, ahead of his first European campaign as manager of the club he supported as a boy, seemed rather miffed at the media focus on Duff’s (possible) arrival at the club and he batted away questions about a Rovers deal for the ex-Ireland man, and he maintains that Rovers do not have a pot of gold ready for a Duff deal.

“I don’t have any money to spend, that’s for certain,” said Fenlon. “So if anything happens, then well and good, but I don’t have any money to spend on a player unless we get through, and then maybe that might change.

“For us all, in Europe the prize money is a massive incentive for teams to do well. If you look at what you get for getting there and if you get through a round it doubles.

“It’s worth a lot more for getting through a round in Europe than winning the league, that shows where we are. But the players and staff will be looking to get through to better themselves.”

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