Duff’s ‘Project Melbourne’

New Melbourne City recruit Damien Duff says winning silverware is his number one motivation as he begins his new ‘project’ with the ambitious Hyundai A-League club that is majority owned by EPL champions Manchester City.

Speaking from City’s Carrington Training Centre in Manchester, where Melbourne are based for 17 days this month, the Republic of Ireland international great said he was energised by the new challenge ahead as he settled in with his new Aussie teammates.

“I’ve enjoyed my first few days with the club. I knew I wanted to go abroad and after meeting [Manchester City’s] Brian Marwood and the [Melbourne City] manager John van’t Schip it was a decision made straight away.”

Duff, 35, joked that the City group was quite young and “some of the lads are half my age” but he is keen on passing on his experience whilst invigorating a career he conceded needed a jumpstart.

“I suppose I’ve been around the block a few times but I’m really excited.

“It’s given me a spark and a fire in the belly and I can’t wait to get the season started – even though it’s a few months away.

“I’m going there to work hard and win things,” said Duff, who’s signed a one-year deal with City.

When asked about his ambitions, he was clear despite the Australian club’s lack of success in recent years.

“I don’t want to waste time – I want to get there and start winning.

“I want to win silverware.

“It’s a helluva jump – I know we came last in the league [last season] and it hasn’t been great in the last few years.

“But with Man City getting involved it’s a time of change with a new and exciting project”.

Duff will get his first chance to help win silverware with City when the club faces Sydney FC in an eye-catching Westfield FFA Cup clash in Ballarat on August 12.

The Hyundai A-League kicks off on October 10 when the two sides meet again in the Harbour City, this time with David Villa set to feature in City’s ranks.

Duff described the Melbourne City manager van’t Schip as “a cool guy”.

“He was obviously a great player so to be working with him every day is exciting.

“It’s fantastic. A really exciting time for myself and my family to go on a new challenge.

“I just can’t wait to get to Melbourne.”

The winger had an operation in March so the longer pre-season may suit him – even if it’s an alien concept to someone who’s spent his entire career in the English Premier League.

“I’d like to think I’ll be fit. It’s the longest pre-season I’ve come across!”

Duff made 100 appearances for his country and captained the Irish national team during the UEFA Euro 2012 competition.

At club level, he lifted the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers, won two Premier League titles and another League Cup with Chelsea before transferring to Newcastle United and later to Fulham, where he played in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final.

Melbourne City FC memberships for the 2014-15 Season are now available at http://membership.melbournecityfc.com.au/