REACTION: Duff plays down impact in debut


Melbourne City FC winger Damien Duff remains humble about his impact against Sydney FC, following his impressive Hyundai A-League debut.

The former Republic of Ireland international drew signficant praise from fans and the media after his performance at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

The 35-year-old was industrious down the right wing throughout the 90 minutes, before supplying the crucial run and cut-back for substitute David Villa to steady and dispatch the equaliser for Melbourne City FC.

But Duff refused to reveal his personal opinion of his own performance when questioned by the media, instead expressing that he was pleased with his fitness across 90 minutes.

“From a fitness point of view I am surprised I feel so good,” Duff said.

“The most important thing is that I felt good and got around the pitch. So that was good from my point of view.”

Remaining modest about his Round 1 performance, despite proving a handful for Sydney FC’s defence and showing his class with 90 per cent passing efficiency, Duff said he just enjoyed being out on the pitch after a pre-season which commenced in July.

“I enjoyed it very much, it was a long time coming, the longest pre-season ever know to man I think,” Duff said.

“I’m just glad to get it out of the way from one point of view and also from a team point of view it wasn’t a bad result.”

Speaking about David Villa, the Irishman felt that the World Cup winner was among the best strikers he has played alongside.

“He’s top notch, you obviously see it from his 30 minutes cameo on Saturday, the quality he has around the box,” Duff said.

“He is a great player and he’s won everything in the game and it’s a privilege to have him here and everyone is enjoying playing with him.”

At 35 years of age, Duff is adamant his journey to the Hyundai A-League is not a holiday.

“I’m obviously not here for a jolly-up or a holiday… I’m here to win games and hopefully win silverware.” Duff said.

“I’ve been here two or three months now and you could possibly say I wish I came a year or two earlier. Life is short and a football career is even shorter.”

Duff will look to continue his good form this Sunday against the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park. Kick-off 3pm. Book your tickets through Ticketek or sign up as a Melbourne City FC member at membership.melbournecityfc.com.au