Shane Patrick Michael Duffy (born 1 January 1992) is an Irish footballer. Duffy plays for English club Everton. He has chosen to represent Republic of Ireland at senior international level despite having represented Northern Ireland at junior level. This decision was a catalyst in the IFA's decision to take a case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to prevent players switching allegiance from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. The case failed, with the court ruling that as Northern Ireland-born people are entitled to Irish citizenship by birth, are entitled to play for either the Republic or Northern Ireland.
As a youth, Duffy played Gaelic football for Doire Colmcille CLG and association football for Foyle Harps, both based in Derry. He represented Northern Ireland at under 16 level in the 2007 Victory Shield tournament and impressed Everton manager David Moyes in a performance at Bloomfield Road against England.
Duffy for EvertonDuffy joined Everton in November 2008 as a first-year scholar and worked his way through the U-18 and reserve teams. Manager David Moyes named him and several young players in the first team for the pre-season friendlies and Duffy scored his first Everton goal against Rochdale in a 4–0 victory. He made his professional debut versus AEK Athens in the UEFA Europa League in December 2009, coming on for the injured Sylvain Distin. In Everton's next European fixture, Duffy made his home debut at Goodison Park, completing the full 90 minutes against BATE Borisov.
Duffy joined Burnley on loan on 24 March 2011 on an initial 28-day loan with the possibility of an extension until the end of the 2010–11 season. Duffy made his debut for Burnley on 2 April 2011 in the 2–1 defeat to Ipswich Town, playing the full 90 minutes.
Duffy joined Scunthorpe on loan on 1 September 2011. He made his debut on 10 September against Sheffield United, winning the Man of the Match award. He made a total of 19 appearances for the Iron before his parent club recalled him on 5 January 2012, due to an injury to Phil Jagielka, Everton's regular centre-back.
Return to EvertonEdit
Duffy made his Premier League debut at White Hart Lane on 11 January 2012, coming on as a substitute for the final 30 minutes in a 2–0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. With Everton's regular centre-backs, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka, injured for the next game three days later, Duffy made the first Premier League start of his career in a 1–1 draw with Aston Villa.
Duffy was part of the Northern Ireland youth set-up from the U16 level upward. An U17 regular, he was in the squad for their unsuccessful 2009 European Championship qualifying campaign and scored the only goal of the match, a penalty, in the opening game against Liechtenstein.
Aged 17, he was called up to the senior team in June 2009 for a friendly against Italy but was an unused substitute. In August 2009, he made his Northern Ireland U21 début, playing the whole match and scoring in the 2–1 away loss to Portugal.
Republic of IrelandEdit
Despite being born in Northern Ireland, Duffy is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland due to both his birth-right to Irish nationality and through his Donegal-born father and maternal grandparents and opted to play for Republic of Ireland, Following a discussion with former international Liam Brady, Duffy was called up to the Republic of Ireland training camp in May 2010. Everton formally informed the IFA of Duffy's change in allegiance, and the player was called up for a training camp squad for the Republic of Ireland squad to take place in May 2010. At the camp Duffy suffered a 'freak' injury, during a match between the Republic of Ireland development squad and the Ireland amateur side, when he collided with goalkeeper Adrian Walsh and had to undergo life saving surgery at the Mater Hospital after damaging his liver and was discharged six days later after making a full recovery. Although it was expected to take a number of months for him to recuperate and regain his fitness, Duffy returned to action in little over ten weeks after his injury and has since appeared for Republic of Ireland under-19 and under-21 squads. He was called up for the U21 friendly versus Portugal in March 2011.
Players such as Duffy, Daniel Kearns, Darron Gibson and Marc Wilson had represented Northern Ireland at youth level but later opted to play for Republic of Ireland. The IFA disputed the players' right to do so under FIFA rules and felt the current rules were a "clear disadvantage over all other 206 Associations".
The Irish Football Association took a case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport with the hope of getting FIFA to 'uphold' the rules. Although Duffy's name is often linked with this dispute and the IFA appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, his situation differs from that of players such as Darron Gibson because of his close family ties to Donegal. This means he would have been eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland wherever he was born. On 13 February 2012, less than two years after sustaining a life-threatening injury, Duffy received a call up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad, replacing the injured Richard Dunne. On 1 November 2012, Duffy has been named in the provisional 26-man Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly fixture against Greece on 14 November 2012.
- As of match played 22 December 2012
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