Cider to Cyber

November 29, 2013


WEBWATCH: Ken Masters


Darryl Duffy (top right) with his Salgaocar team-mates 

There have been many calls for the number of players who are not British Nationals to be restricted from playing in the Premier League and even in The Football League.

The calls have come from inside and outside of football and the basis seems to be the development and opportunities of young UK players and the impact on the performances of the home nation international teams. It is true that England, generally, qualify for major European and World Cups but go little further. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have fallen at the first hurdle for a number of decades now.

Whilst this is true, other major national leagues have a high quota of players from other nationalities too. I do not have the exact numbers to hand but it strikes me that the leading sides in Italy and Spain, for example, include as many players from other parts of the world as we do in Britain. Now it seems, the trend is spreading and even in India where it is reported on the web that former Rovers and Cheltenham player Darryl Duffy is now plying his trade; from the West Country to the sub continent then, a sort of cider to Cyber move.

This from the Times of India website:

‘Salgaocar Football Club has signed up striker Darryl Duffy of Scotland after a successful trial, making him the third foreigner to join the club for the 2013-14 season. Top scorer for Cheltenham Town for 2011-12 season, Duffy started his career at Rangers and has played for major sides such as Hull City and Swansea City.’ goes into a touch more detail:

‘Salgaocar FC have completed the signing of Darryl Alexander Duffy after his successful trial with the club for the 2013-14 season. The 29-year-old, who started his career with Rangers FC and has played for teams like Hull City and Swansea City, has been added to their roster. Having played for the Scotland B national team between 2005-2006, the striker joins the Green and Whites, (sounds very British) from Cheltenham Town for whom he was the top scorer during the 2011-12 season.’

Duffy has only good things to say,

The coach is doing a lot of things, inculcating good sleeping patterns, eating habits. The training system is mostly the same. The players are a friendly bunch, they’re really nice and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”

“I’m happy things have worked out,” said Rhys Mascarenhas, Duffy’s manager. “Salgaocar was looking for a good striker and with Darryl’s experience in playing for top teams, I’m sure he’ll play an important role in the first team this season.”

Darryl added optimistically,

I want to hopefully score and help Salgaocar win the League again. If I can bring a lot of goals, that would be very nice.” Always nice to score goals Darryl especially for a new club and to be fair your record is not bad.

Caroline Chapman on the BBC Sport site appears to have a bit more of an insight about Darryl’s life with his new club. At the very least, he thought he would get a seat on the team bus.

“It’s about an hour and 15 minutes to training and the bus stops at various points to pick up players,” he said.

“By the time we arrive there’s three or four boys on the floor, some will sit on the other boys’ knees. There will also be a couple in the front cabin with the driver.”

This summer Duffy, 29, became the third foreign player, alongside Frenchman Claude Gnakpa and Nigerian Chika Wali, to sign for Salgaocar in Goa, who claim to be “India’s most popular football club”.

And moving 4,700 miles from his West Country home, to his 10th club, has provided some obstacles for the man who had previously spent his entire career in the UK.

“There are no pavements, no road laws, and there are wild dogs everywhere. There are no fields or fences for the farmers, so buffalo just walk in the road.”

Precarious coach travel and wild beasts aside, Duffy appears to be prospering in alien surroundings after a year of discontent.

Wait for it! Caroline gives us a mention:

His journey began at Rangers in 2003 and he went on to have spells at Falkirk, Hull, Swansea and Bristol Rovers, where he partnered now England and Southampton striker Rickie Lambert.

Duffy joined League Two Cheltenham at the start of the 2011-12 season, finishing top scorer with 15 goals and helping them to the play-off final. He was cast aside the following year, making only five starts, and it prompted huge change in his life.

Duffy ended up heading home to Scotland in May, where he trained with Kilmarnock, but a call from fellow pro Alan Gow, now at Exeter but previously at East Bengal, gave him the idea about a move to India.

And now Duffy has morphed in to Salgaocar’s star striker.

He scored five goals in five games in the Goa Pro-League and he netted his debut I-League goal in the 1-0 win over reigning champions Churchill Brothers.

Play on McSingh and all the very best.



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