It must be heartbreaking to join the club you have supported since you were a child – expecting to win trophies galore and make yourself a cult hero – only for it all to go wrong.
In Shane Duffy’s case, this is exactly what happened.
Having joined Celtic from Brighton on a loan deal in September, the Derry-born defender was thrust into action in front of an empty Celtic Park expecting to complete 10IAR and make a statement for himself after being omitted from Brighton boss Graham Potter’s plans.
Instead, things went the opposite way. A string of poor performances saw the defender lose his space in the side to Stephen Welsh, featuring just twice in the last 12 games of the Scottish Premiership season.
“It’s always tough when you go through a tough spell — most footballers do at some part of their career. I went through it, and I’ve got a great manager in Stephen Kenny who trusts me. I’ve got no complaints about not playing in the team”, Duffy said to The Daily Record.
“I try to play my role, trying to help the younger lads when I haven’t been playing football. So I’ve total belief and thanks to the manager for giving me a game, first and foremost. I enjoyed it again.
Duffy does seem to be a consummate professional – having endured setbacks at Brighton when he was ousted from the starting picture, he kept a level head despite his lacklustre performances at Celtic Park last season and insists he will go again when the opportunity arises.
“I sort of forgot what it felt like to play football. Hopefully, that’s the bad part over. Another rest and I’ll be ready to be back next season, kick on and show everyone how good I am again.”