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'My family will be proud' - Shane Duffy to captain his country for first time in Denmark clash

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

12:56 17 Nov 2019

Shane Duffy has been confirmed as the Republic of Ireland's captain for tomorrow evening's crucial EURO 2020 qualifier against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium.

A win for Mick McCarthy's side at Lansdowne Road would secure qualification for next summer's tournament, while a point would be enough for the away side.

Twenty-seven-year-old Brighton defender Duffy said he was honoured to get the nod to captain his country for the first-ever time.

"Yeah obviously delighted, he told me this morning. [It's a] huge honour just to play in the game never mind to captain. I'll hopefully take it all in my stride, it's just another game really but yeah [it's a] huge honour for me and my family.

"It's a huge honour just to even play for your country, it's a massive milestone in your career. To lead the boys out, hopefully I take it in my stride. It's another game really for me and I don't really let it affect me.

Derry man Duffy also remembers the last time he was captain for either club or country.

"[It was] a League Cup game against Aston Villa for Brighton! First time for Ireland.

"It's one I'm excited for - obviously, my family will be proud and I'm proud as well but as I said the main objective is to just go out there and play my game and try and get the win."

Republic of Ireland manager McCarthy said Duffy has been a vital cog in this Irish team for some time.

"Well he's important to the team for a long time now, he's a really top, top defender. And he has that ability to get a goal- he's good in both boxes.

"He's one of them in the squad that everybody sort of looks up to. Just how he plays the game he gets respect ou of people and his teammates. Without running around screaming and shouting... he rallies people and gets them defending and he's the one that blocks things and gets his head on stuff. He's one of those guys that you rely upon.

"It'd be nice if we got goals from elsewhere as well. But if it means it's a free-kick or a corner-kick, it's a threat. By the way they [Denmark] are a threat as well, they're a big team."

And as to whether the decision to make Duffy captain was an easy one McCarthy said it was the obvious choice.

"[It was] very easy, simple. Absolutely."

Glenn Whelan was also at this morning's press conference, and he said Duffy was the perfect candidate to lead the side out tomorrow night.

"Well obviously with Seamus [Coleman] not being around he probably deserves it more than anyone just with his performances. Even if he didn't have the armband on tomorrow night he'd be a captain anyway because he goes out and puts a shift in and he's a real warrior.

"I'm delighted for him and his family and it's something that nobody can take away from him. So hopefully we'll get the right result tomorrow and it'll be a great party everywhere."

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Captain Christian Eriksen Denmark Glenn Whelan Mick McCarthy ROI Republic Of Ireland Shane Duffy

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