BOYHOOD Arsenal fan Michael Duffy admits that he’s pinching himself at the prospect of playing at the Emirates tonight.
Dundalk face Arsenal in the Europa League and Duffy can’t wait to come up against the team he cheers on every other time they play.
Such was Duffy’s devotion to the Gunners, he chose Thierry as his Confirmation name, after the legendary Arsenal attacker Thierry Henry.
“That’s how big an Arsenal fan I was,” Duffy said ahead of the big game.
“Thierry Henry was the man. He was my idol.
“For my Confirmation, I asked for Thierry. The teacher said no at the start, but the teacher came back two weeks later and said that he was a Saint so I could have it!”
Duffy played much of his schoolboy football with Kildrum Tigers. His father Michael ‘Bamber’ Duffy is a native of St Johnston. Duffy is Derry born, but close family still reside in St Johnston.
He cut his teeth at Derry City and nabbed a dream move to Celtic before joining Dundalk in 2017.
The 26-year-old has played a starring role for the Lilywhites and has even been tipped for a Republic of Ireland call-up.
For now, Duffy will concentrate on Dundalk’s latest Europa League showdown at the Emirates.
He said: “It’s unbelievable. I haven’t been here to watch a match, now I’m training on it and going to play a match on it.
“It actually still doesn’t feel like we’re playing Arsenal. it’s mad. I’m just catching on that I’m playing Arsenal. It’s going to be class and I can’t wait.
“I watch them every week and now I’m here to play them. It still doesn’t feel like it’s happening. It’ll be a brilliant experience. This is unbelievable. The stadium is class and everyone is buzzing.”
Dundalk lost 2-1 to Molde in their opening Group B game and the League of Ireland side are rank underdogs against Premier League giants Arsenal.
Duffy said: “We can go out and enjoy the night. We’ll be trying to get something from it. We know how tough it’ll be, but we’re prepared well.”Tags: