Shane Duffy opens up on ‘long year’ after he bounced back from loss of his father in May 2020 and tough Celtic loan to help Brighton to victory by scoring in win over Watford
- Shane Duffy helped Brighton to a 2-0 victory over Watford on Saturday night
- The defender opened the scoring for the Seagulls after 10 minutes with a header
- Duffy lost his father in May 2020 and had a difficult loan spell at Celtic last term
- The Irishman is now back in Graham Potter’s plans at Brighton who are joint-top
Shane Duffy admitted it has been a ‘long year’ as he capped a long-awaited return to the AMEX by helping Brighton to a 2-0 victory over Watford on Saturday night.
The Republic of Ireland defender seemed likely to leave the club this summer, having previously fallen out of favour under Graham Potter.
He lost his father in May 2020 and then endured a difficult loan spell at Celtic last season.
Shane Duffy opened up on his tough year after leading Brighton to a 2-0 victory over Watford
Duffy (second left) put Brighton ahead on Saturday night with a header after just 10 minutes
But following the departure of Ben White – and with both Joel Veltman and Dan Burn out – he has returned to the starting XI with two fine displays to start the season.
His early header put Brighton in front and speaking after his first home game since July 2020, Duffy told the BBC: ‘It’s been a long year and I’ve missed the place.
‘The reception from the fans was brilliant all day. It feels like home here and it was great to be back.’
He added: ‘You can see from the kick-off we were straight after them and it was the fans who gave us that adrenalin. I’m delighted they are back and I hope it can continue.’
Duffy lost his father in May 2020 and had a tough loan at Celtic but is back for Brighton now
Brighton boss Graham Potter hailed the work of Duffy, who looked all set to leave the club
Manager Potter heaped praise on the 29-year-old, who shone in front of watching Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.
Kenny and Duffy spoke following last night’s game, with Potter telling reporters: ‘I’m really happy for Shane, he’s had a really tough year on and off pitch, he’s probably learnt a lot from that experience and he’s come back in really good way.’
Potter added: ‘He’s always been someone everyone here loves… since he’s been back, he’s been fantastic.’