Michael Duffy has admitted that the shine would have been taken off Dundalk’s league title success if Vinny Perth’s side had missed out on a place in the FAI Cup final on Sunday.
The 25-year-old winger capped a superb week for him personally when he popped up with an 89th minute winner against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds on Sunday to book his side a date in a fifth consecutive final against Shamrock Rovers at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday November 3rd.
That strike followed on from his screamer against Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park six days earlier which pretty much wrapped up the Premier Division for his side.
While Dundalk already have two trophies in the bag having also won the EA Sports Cup a few weeks back, Duffy admitted it would have taken the shine off those successes had they not given themselves a chance of clinching the treble next month.
“It definitely would have,” he told The Argus afterwards.
“We’d probably have been disappointed for the next four weeks and we would have felt like we hadn’t won anything. That’s a bit mad to say when we’ve done a double already but you want to be in the Aviva at the end of the year.
“It’s something to look forward to and now we’ve set it up for an unbelievable day to look forward to.”
Duffy has been there and done it before having lost the 2017 final when his penalty was saved by Mark McNulty before playing a key role as Dundalk completed a league and Cup double last season.
He admitted that this year would be extra special, however, as his new born son Noah – born in July as Dundalk were winning a shoot-out away to Riga – would be attending his first game.
“It’ll be his first game so hopefully he brings me a bit of luck.
“It’s brilliant for the fans and everyone’s family because it’s an unbelievable day out. I can imagine that it’s going to be a lot bigger this year with the whole hype of Rovers being there having not been there in a while. They’ve a big fanbase so I’d say it will be a lot bigger than the last few years,” he said.
Having scored against Rovers earlier this week, Duffy admitted it had been a “brilliant week” for him and his team-mates and he said he feels he feels he is only getting better at the business end of the season having been troubled with a groin issue for much of the year.
“It has been a brilliant week. I don’t even know how to describe it, it’s just unbelievable really.
“The main thing was to get to the final. I didn’t care who scored or what way we got there but once we got through was all that mattered.
“I’ve had a few problems this season but I feel a lot better now. Definitely in the past two months, it’s probably the best I’ve felt all year. My performances have got a bit better too because I did have a dip in the middle of the season. There were big games in the middle of the season too so that wasn’t good but hopefully now I can finish the season well.”
Duffy admitted he took a gamble by opting to drift into the box in the build-up to his goal rather than standing over the free kick which Georgie Kelly would knock down to him to score.
“Usually I stand beside Sean Murray but I sort of just creeped into the box and gambled because it was the last minute.
“Georgie has done brilliantly to head it back to me and it has just fell to me perfectly. I haven’t caught it very clean but it’s gone into the bottom corner.”
After a week which saw him score in a league title decider and an FAI Cup semi-final there is much for Duffy to celebrate but he insisted that the champagne will remain on ice for another few weeks with the dream of a treble in sight.
“We just need to dig in now. There’s a month left and we can make history here and then we can go celebrate together if we do that.
“I’d say no one in Derry, as much as they support me, will want me to do it,” he laughed.
“That’s the way it is but it’s set up for an unbelievable end to the season.
“Rovers will be fired up for it. They’ve been tough every time we’ve played them. We both have a month now to prepare for it so it’s going to be a massive day,” said Duffy