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I am with the Hull City fans regarding the protest of name change – Salgaocar’s Darryl Duffy

Darryl Duffy was adjudged Best Foreigner at the 2014 FPAI Awards

Darryl Duffy was adjudged Best Foreigner at the 2014 FPAI Awards

Scottish striker Darryl Duffy was one of the most consistent foreigners of the 2013-14 I-League as he finished as the joint top scorer with 14 goals and inspired the Goan club to a third-placed finish.

Having played professionally in the lower tiers of England and top tier of Scotland, Duffy brought a lot of class and experience to the I-League but the player himself was also impressed by the standard of India’s domestic league.

“The standard exceeded my expectations to be honest. Unlike previous seasons where you would see too many one-sided results, most of the matches this season were close and competitive. I think the league has improved both because of the improvement in the Indian players and the presence of quality coaches. Derrick Pereira of Salgaocar is a fantastic coach but there were also quite a few good quality foreign coaches. They brought a more tactical approach and contributed to the progress of many Indian players,” Duffy told Sportskeeda on the sidelines of the 2014 FPAI Awards where he won the Best Foreigner accolade.

Duffy won the award despite this being his first season in Indian football. He made a blistering start with six goals in five games but then had a dip in form. It was more down to the fact that Salgaocar were overdependent on him.

The 30-year-old regained his goal-scoring touch in the second half of the season following the signing of Nigerian Dudu Omagbemi in the winter transfer window and Duffy admitted that having a quality strike partner helped his cause.

“Yes it (the arrival of Dudu) made a big difference. For the majority of my career I have played with a strike partner so I was able to get back among the goals once I formed a good understanding with Dudu,” he said.

Duffy then talked about the difficulties he had in adapting to life in India but is willing to remain in India after doing well in the first season.

“It was very difficult and I am not going to lie about it. Everything was different here compared to the UK. The weather, food, culture, traffic. I had to adapt quickly and luckily Salgaocar were supportive throughout. I still don’t know where I will play next season but I am open to the option of remaining in India.

“First I want to give Salgaocar the chance to negotiate about a new deal because I felt I owe them an opportunity before talking to any other Indian club. Of course there will be offers from outside India also but there is no reason why I cant be in the I-League next season as well because despite the challenges off the field, I have enjoyed my experience here,” he stated.

Duffy keeps following the fortunes of all his former clubs including the English Premier League’s Hull City and Swansea City. The striker gave his view on the controversy surrounding Hull City’s name with the owner Assem Allam pushing for a name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ but his decision has been strongly opposed by the club’s fanbase.

“Of course the owner has every right to consider a name change but I am with the Hull City fans in this one. It has been their name throughout so I can understand why they have protested the name change,” Duffy concluded.

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