CORK soccer player Shane Griffin will be playing under Damien Duff at Shelbourne next season.
The full-back will be joining the First Division winners after a successful two-year stint at St Patrick’s Athletic, which ended with him lifting the FAI Cup last weekend at the Aviva Stadium. The 27-year-old will now be working under an Ireland centurion who is taking his first steps into senior management.
Duff – who is a two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea – has taken over Shelbourne after a successful few years of coaching. His career began in 2015 with the Shamrock Rovers U15s before he joined their senior team in 2016.
He then went over to Celtic to work with their first team and he played a key role in Celtic’s treble success in 2019. Duff also worked with the Republic of Ireland senior team before he joined Shelbourne to work with their U15s.
The new Shelbourne boss is tasked with building a team to stay in the Premier Division in 2022 and then going on to challenge for major honours. The Carrigaline native, who has played in the League of Ireland since 2017, will be key to Duff’s vision for the club.
Griffin will be bringing a winning mentality to Tolka Park, a mindset he learned at Cork City. In three seasons with his hometown club from 2017 to 2019, he won a league and cup double as well as two Presidents Cups and three Munster Senior Cups. Griffin also played in Champions League qualifiers and Europa League qualifiers with Cork City.
Duff made sure to highlight Griffin’s experience when the signing was announced on Friday afternoon.
"Shane has brilliant quality, can play in numerous positions and is a top professional. He will greatly complement the youth we have in the squad,” he told the club’s media team.
Griffin also gave his own views on the move to Shelbourne: “I’m very excited to get started at Shels and work under Damien and his staff. Damien has good ideas and ambitions for the club and I can’t wait to be part of it.”
The full-back’s move to Tolka Park will continue a long tradition of Cork soccer players signing for Shelbourne. This is a trend that goes back to the 1990s when Pat Morely joined the club. In 2006 Liam Kearney and Greg O’Halloran joined Shelbourne and played one season at the club. Cobh Ramblers midfielder David O’Leary had a brief stint at Tolka Park in 2016.
Saoirse Noonan also plays for their women’s team, and she collected a Women’s National League winners medal last month.