Duff ready for run in

Shels are gearing up for their final home game of the season this Friday in the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division.

UCD are the visitors to Tolka Park for the penultimate game of the 2023 campaign, with the Reds still right in the hunt for a top four finish.

After training Shels boss Damien Duff delivered an injury update: “A lot of players are playing through the pain at the moment, we do have more available and we’re looking stronger than in recent weeks.

“Will Jarvis will have late fitness tomorrow before the game. We’re hopeful on that front but let’s see what happens. JR Wilson and Jad Hakiki are back in contention. They’re both managing pain. Andy Quinn is back, great to see, he’s been managing a recent injury.”

The Reds drew 0-0 last week in Derry, having seen the home side reduced to 10 men early in the game. Duff feels that is the perfect primer to facing a UCD side that will also be defensively well organised: 

“We’re worked on it in training this week, we looked at the Derry footage and took plenty from that game, it’s probably the perfect game last week, in terms of preparing you for what you’ll face now tomorrow.

“After the sending off in Derry we were dominating the ball, hoping for similar tomorrow, whoever we’re playing we want to dominate the ball. It’s a difficult game up there, we created enough chances, probably not clear cut on those chances and then we had the disallowed goal. Hopefully we get the rub of the green and all three points tomorrow night.”

With the season drawing to a close and players around the league making plans for next season, Duff says the full focus of the Shels staff and players is on the task at hand:

“It’s a difficult climate where guys are on one year contracts. We’ve been good at parking that. Around the league a lot of people are in the same boat. A lot of staff and players are in a similar situation here and that has brought us closer together, our only goal is on winning our remaining games. Everything else is on the back burner. Getting Shelbourne FC into Europe is the the goal that we have and have worked towards all season and that goal is bigger than any one individual and always will be.”

UCD will be eager to sign off their campaign in style by taking points off the Reds and Duff knows this makes the Students a threatening prospect:

“They are a very dangerous team, this is as dangerous as any game in the league. A lot of teams the problem they have is they disrespect it, that’s a mistake we won’t be making. The night that’s in it, with what’s at stake, we can’t disrespect the game or UCD. Tomorrow is a night where we need everyone on it. Players, staff, and the fans. When we have that energy and enthusiasm, that proper life in the stadium. We can be an unstoppable force. My message for players, staff, and fans too, you need to be on it, we can’t afford for anyone to be flat tomorrow.”

A big attendance is expected for the final home game of the season, Duff has urged fans to arrive to Tolka Park early and be part of the display planned by Briogáid Dearg

“There’s an old Jock Stein quote I walked by on the wall by every day at Celtic, football without fans is nothing, across the board any club, any country, any league, This is so true. Here at Shels over the last two years, Shels is nothing without fans, it’s nothing without BD, what they do, amazing, we’d be lost without them. I’d encourage everyone to be there early.

“A couple of people have mentioned to me this week, they want everyone in the Riverside by 7.25pm, twenty minutes before kick off, to ensure they all create an atmosphere that has Tolka on wheels. They’re our 12th man, 13th, 14th man tomorrow, I genuinely mean this and I don’t say it lightly, they’ve put points on the board this season. They’ve played a huge part, and I know they will play a big part for the next two games as well.”

Tickets

Tickets for the Reds upcoming clash are available here: bit.ly/sfc1895

TV

Watch all the action on LOITV, coverage begins from 7:30pm with kick off at 7:45pm.

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