SHANE Duffy insists he must play competitively in order to progress his career and put himself back in contention for the Republic of Ireland squad.
The Everton defender has made just three substitute appearances for the ‘Toffees’ this season, most recently the 2-2 draw against Oldham in the FA Cup.
And he understand he won’t get elevated into Giovanni Trapattoni’s senior squad unless he can force through a possible loan move this season.
In February 2012, the 21-year-old received a call-up to the senior squad for a friendly game with the Czech Republic but was an unused sub in a 1-1 draw and the Galliagh man wants another chance to shine at international level.
Since that Czech Republic game, he has fallen down the queue, with Reading defender Alex Pearce, Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark and Derby County captain Richard Keogh emerging as contenders for the centre back spot.
“I need to play first-team football, that’s it,” claimed Duffy. “The manager (Trapattoni) has said that to me he’s not going to play someone who is playing reserve football so it’s up to me to get myself out on loan or play at Everton, so it’s one of those things.
“It can be (frustrating), you just have to be patient and hopefully that’s what I’m doing and when my time comes I’ll be ready.”
It is understood that Duffy is a target for a number of Championship clubs who wish to take him on loan until the end of the season, with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Ipswich Town believed to be among the front-runners for the player’s signature.
And the defender, who has already had loan spells with Burnley and Scunthorpe, explained that he now needs to take his career to the next level.
“I am just looking to play football, it’s the best thing, it’s what I love,” he said. “Until I get playing football (regularly) my career will stay like this so I am looking forward to playing and kicking on.”
Despite missing out on a place in the senior squad, the Derry man remains a regular at under-21 level and has been appointed team captain by manager Noel King.
On February 6th, Duffy led the Republic U21s to an impressive 3-0 win over the Netherlands in Tallaght Stadium.
“It was a good result, I’m delighted, it’s the first time, basically, that the squad has been together so it surprised me a little bit but we’re delighted with the win. Thankfully, we’ve worked well together.”
Noel King’s under-21 side will face Germany, Romania, Montenegro and Faroe Islands as they battle for a place at the European Championships in the Czech Republic in 2015.