BY CHRIS MCNULTY
CELTIC Developement squad manager Stevie Frail has praised Michael Duffy’s efforts at the Glasgow club after he netted his first goal for the Hoops on Monday.
Duffy headed in a 34th minute opener as Celtic overcame St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in the SPL Development League. Derk Boerrigter scored two minutes later and, although Paul Simpson scored in injury time, Celtic had long since sealed the win.
Duffy signed for Celtic from Derry City in early February and Monday’s – when he headed home Joe Thomson’s corner – was the first time to hit the net for the Bhoys.
“He has been working really hard,” Frail said of the 20-year-old.
“We have been doing individual stuff with him and working on his finishing – not heading I have to say right enough – but I am really pleased for him.
“We have asked him to play various positions, wide right, wide left and through the middle, and we are still trying to nail down what we believe is going to be his strongest position. It was a good ball in and he managed to get his head to it and it looped into the net.
“He came in and it was reasonably high-profile for our squad and especially in Ireland, where there was a big thing made about it.
“He has had to deal with that so that will do him the world of good, and hopefully it will settle him down. He is obviously an over-age player for this team but he is still young in terms of what we are trying to do and there are a lot of things he has missed. We just need to keep working away with him.
“Technically, he is very good, and you saw that in the second half when he came inside and has a shot with his left-foot. It was a good afternoon for Michael.”
Duffy had two trials with Celtic and had been courted by Brentford too. Although he resisted a third trial at Celtic, the Scottish giants came in with an offer that was accepted by Derry, with whom he signed a two-year contract in 2014.
His father, also Michael, is a native of St Johnston and a former Kildrum Tigers player. Before signing for Derry, the younger Duffy also lined out for the Tigers, representing the Station Road club up to under-16 level.