DFC | Duffy eyeing a league winners medal after picking up SWAI Player of the Month award for August

Lilywhites star is first player since Daryl Horgan to win award twice in one season

Dundalk FC winger Michael Duffy says he would happily swap his two SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month awards for a league winners medal.

Duffy saw off competition from Sligo Rovers forward Rafaele Cretaro and Dundalk teammate Chris Shields to win the August award, adding it to the gong he won back in April.

The Lilywhites star is the first player since Daryl Horgan in 2016 to win the award twice in one season but speaking to Dundalk Sport after picking up the trophy at DkIT on Thursday morning, he said team awards, rather than individual honours, were at the forefront of his mind.

“I had a good month so I’ll be looking to push on and finish the last couple of months in the same way,” he said. “I just hope we can go on and win the league and get to another cup final. Then, I can look back on these trophies and they’ll really mean something to me.

“It’s obviously good to get them,” he added. “It shows that my performances have been good but if we don’t come out with anything, I won’t really be looking at them too fondly. If we win the league and the cup, I’ll look at them a lot differently.”

Duffy’s late goal against Limerick at the Markets Field on Friday, August 31st would no doubt have helped to swing the vote his way. It could go down as a pivotal night in the title, Dundalk’s win, coupled with Sligo’s win in Cork, moving Stephen Kenny’s side six points clear at the top of the table.

“It was the biggest night of the season so far,” said Duffy. “At one stage we were level on points with Cork but Sligo turned it around. I didn’t realise what was happening until after our goal. A couple of minutes later, there was a roar from our fans. I didn’t know what it was but we knew there was something big happening.

“When the game ended, Ruaidhri Higgins came on to the pitch to tell us that Cork were beaten. That was the first I knew about it. It was a mad night and thankfully it went our way.”

Speaking earlier in the season, Kenny challenged Duffy to score the first goal in a big game. That one in Limerick could be as big as it gets. “He was on to me alright,” smiled the Derryman. “It frustrated me that I hadn’t scored the winner in a big game because I missed loads of chances to get the first goal but I took on board what he said to me!”

Dundalk’s next game will take them south again for a fixture that will shape the outcome of the title race. A win against Cork City at Turner’s Cross next Friday night and the trophy will almost certainly be coming back to Dundalk. With that in mind, Duffy and his teammates are intent on going down to make a statement.

“We’re looking to go down there and win the game. If we do that we’ll be in an unbelievable position. There’s a massive rivalry between the clubs and we haven’t won down there in a good while.

“It might be set up differently compared to other games down there. They’re very hard to play against and usually, they sit back and break on us. This time they need to come out and try and beat us but we’ll be ready for it. We’ll have had two weeks to prepare for it and we’re really looking forward to it.”

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