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Michael Duff confirmed as New Swansea City head coach

SWANSEA CITY has this week said that it is delighted to confirm the appointment of Michael Duff as the club’s new head coach.

The 45-year-old Northern Irishman has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the Swansea.com Stadium after compensation was agreed with Barnsley, and he will oversee the first day of pre-season training on Friday.

He becomes the fourth Northern Irishman to manage the Swans, following in the footsteps of Billy McCandless, Harry Gregg and Brendan Rodgers.

An update regarding Duff’s coaching staff will follow in due course.

“Michael has a proven track record of galvanising a group of players into a collective unit, and he has consistently outperformed expectations at his previous clubs,” said Swansea City chairman Andy Coleman.

“Every conversation I had with him only reinforced the view that he is exactly the type of leader we need here at Swansea City.

“He is a proven winner, both as a player and as a manager, and I’m confident he will bring that mentality here.

“I believe in his ability and his belief in the Swansea Way, while he also possesses the capability to adapt within games to drive results.

“This is a results driven business. Our position in the table matters to all of us and we are focused on supporting Michael with everything he needs to succeed.”

Duff moved into coaching after a long and distinguished career that saw him remarkably play in the top eight divisions in English football with Carterton Town, Cirencester Town, Cheltenham Town and Burnley.

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Born in Belfast, Duff had spells on the books with Nottingham Forest, Darlington and Swindon, before signing for Cheltenham Town.

The former defender helped the Southern League club to promotions in 1997 and 1999, scoring the goal that sealed their place in the Football League in the second of those two seasons, while they also celebrated an FA Trophy win in 1998.

Duff was also part of the squad that got the Robins promoted to the third tier via the play-offs in 2002.

He would move on to Burnley – then in the Championship – in 2004 and would enjoy three separate promotions to the Premier League with the Clarets.

He played in the play-off final win over Sheffield United in 2009 and helped Burnley finish second in the second tier in 2014, before hanging up his boots in 2016 following their Championship title success.

He also won 24 caps for Northern Ireland, playing in famous wins over England and Spain.

Duff moved into coaching in the Burnley youth set-up, before taking over as Cheltenham boss in 2018.

He led them to the League Two play-offs in a season curtailed by Covid-19, before securing promotion as champions the following campaign.

A switch to Barnsley followed in 2022, and a side renowned for its attacking potency came agonisingly close to securing an immediate return to the Championship, only to lose to a last-gasp strike in the League One play-off final against Sheffield Wednesday.