Ireland international Shane Duffy is set to embark on a lifelong dream after being unveiled as a Celtic player.
The centre-back has joined on a season-long loan from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion and he was welcomed by club officials at Celtic Park today.
Duffy, 28, will be hoping to hit the ground running and make his debut in the Scottish Premiership clash away to Ross County on Saturday.
I’ll give everything for the club.
“You could say there’s more pressure on me given I’m also a fan, but I’m a believer in my own ability and where I am in my career,” Duffy told Celtic TV. “I’m at a good age, I’m coming into my prime and, hopefully, Celtic fans will get to see me in my peak. I’m at a good stage now, I need some games to get up and running, but I’m just excited.
“I just need to be me and for the team and the manager. I’m a solid defender who simply wants to keep the ball out of my net, and do anything to win at all costs. That’s a mentality I grew up with and I’ll never change.
“I’ll give everything for the club, for my teammates and for me, and that’s always been my attitude towards football and life. If I can bring that to the team, then hopefully that can be good for everyone.”
The Derry native added: “It feels great to finally be here. It’s been a really busy week for me, getting it done and not being here was difficult, I had a lot of things on my mind, but I landed in Glasgow last night and I’m just buzzing now to get going.
“It’s been crazy so far. Obviously with social media these days, you get to see quite a bit of it, and it was quite overwhelming.
“I know what the fans are and what they mean, and while I gathered how they’d feel about an Irish man, coming from where I’m from in Derry, I had no idea that it’d be as big as it’s been so far. That’s incredible and I just can’t wait to get down to business now and do it on the pitch for them.”
Duffy captained the Ireland side for Stephen Kenny’s first two games in charge last week. They didn’t go to plan as a draw against Bulgaria in Sofia was followed by a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Finland at the Aviva Stadium.
While Duffy scored the equaliser against Bulgaria, and came close to doing the same against Finland, he will be disappointed at some sloppy mistakes from the Irish defence. Ireland assistant manager Keith Andrews is set to facilitate Zoom calls between Duffy and John Egan to iron out any communication issues.
Duffy’s next task will be helping Celtic on their quest for a tenth Scottish title in a row. They currently sit in third place in the Scottish Premiership, six points behind leaders Rangers but with two games in hand.