Republic of Ireland legend Damien Duff has taken up his first managerial post after being confirmed as the new manager of Shelbourne this morning.

The former Chelsea, Newcastle, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham player, who was the Under-17 coach for the Tolka Park outfit, takes over the side as they return to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Duff is set to operate a full-time training approach at the Tolka Park side. He initially turned down approaches from the club but reconsidered in recent days.

"I'm delighted to take up the manager's position at Shelbourne," he said.

"Having coached and managed our U17 National league team and been around the club, I can see the plans and ambition in place here and am excited to begin a new chapter of Shelbourne’s 126-year history.

"I’m extremely passionate about youth development in Ireland and about Irish football in general and see this as a great opportunity to help build something that both the club, its fans and myself can be proud of.

"With the club now in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, and the foundations being put in place by the board and its directors, I can’t wait to start."

Shelbourne were crowned First Division champions last month as they bounced back from a surprise relegation.

Shels have had investment in recent seasons, with chairman Andrew Doyle leading the club and former Limerick and Shamrock Rovers player David O'Connor has served as CEO for the last three years.

The club also have a thriving youth academy.

Alan Caffrey was appointed as technical director at the club, joining from highly successful Dublin schoolboy club St Kevin's Boys earlier this year, in a move seen as a sign of the aspirations of the club in developing future stars.

Despite achieving promotion with their first-team, manager Ian Morris soon departed after three years at the helm.

The move to bring in the highly-thought of Duff to begin his managerial career is seen a real coup by the north Dublin outfit as they bid to make strides in the top-flight.

Duff was previously a member of Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland coaching ticket, first-team coach at Celtic and also coached at underage level for Shamrock Rovers.

One of Ireland's most illustrious footballers, he has two Premier League winners' medals from his time at Chelsea and earned 100 senior international caps between 1998 and 2012.

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