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'Pain-In-The-Arse Parents' And Bad Habits - Damien Duff On The Challenges Of Managing Kids In Ireland

'Pain-In-The-Arse Parents' And Bad Habits - Damien Duff On The Challenges Of Managing Kids In Ireland
By James Carroll
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Damien Duff believes dealing with assertive parents is one of the biggest challenges he faces as manager of the Shamrock Rovers U15s.

Duff spent his career dealing with Premier League fans and pundits and managers like Jose Mourinho, but his biggest challenge these days are overzealous parents who just won't back off.

The Irish legend was speaking at Sport Against Racism yesterday and talked about the the challenges he faces in the role:

I’ve really loved it and it’s given me something to focus on. There’s lot of work involved from setting up training sessions to dealing with pain-in-the-arse parents.

I don't think it (interfering parents) helps kids, it gives them maybe a false sense.

A few have tried, 'My little Johnny is this or that' but I try to treat them like adults.

Duff is somewhat puzzled by the attitude and habits of modern youngsters, so much so that he is striving to instill a strong work ethic within his group.


Interestingly, he now organises early morning training sessions before the kids go to school, some parents were not best pleased, but the youngsters have grown to love it,

We do one at 6.30 in the morning and, again, I don't know whether you'd call them cavemen here in Ireland but they're giving you a bit of stick because you're getting them out of bed. It's supposedly the best time to learn.

The Dubiner got the idea from his short stint in Melbourne, and now his underage Rovers side are the first in the country to organise morning sessions before the kids go to school.


The worry for Duff is that some bad habits and lack of practice for Irish youngsters has led to us falling behind.

We're playing catch-up with the rest of Europe. I was at PSV a couple of weeks ago and their U-15s are doing six sessions a week and our clubs here do two or three, so I don't know how you expect to compete with them at a senior level when you're thousands of hours behind.

"It's just habits, little things on the pitch. Simple things but they're so ingrained, it takes a while to get rid of them. Then just standards around the place, their gear and being sloppy. But we're putting things right and I'd like to think it's happening across the board in the national league.



SEE ALSO: Kitman Of 30 Years Badly Hurt By How Tipp Dealt With Decision To Leave Him Go

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