Melbourne City sign Duff

Melbourne City have announced the signing of former Ireland international Damien Duff along with the retention of rising stars Benjamin Garuccio and Stefan Mauk.

Melbourne City FC today announced that it has signed former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff on a one-year deal for the forthcoming Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season.

Additionally, Melbourne City has confirmed that it has secured two of its promising young players on extended contracts, ensuring the club continues to nurture some of Australia-s best young talent.

Midfielder Stefan Mauk has extended his deal at Melbourne City until the end of the 2015/16 season, while left-sided utility Benjamin Garuccio has signed for an additional two years; until the conclusion of the 2016/17 season.

Duff joins ahead of the 2014/15 campaign as Melbourne City-s 18th confirmed squad member.

An icon of modern Irish football, Duff made 100 appearances for his country and captained the Irish national team during the UEFA Euro 2012 competition.

At club level, Duff lifted the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers, won two Premier League titles and another League Cup with Chelsea before transferring to Newcastle United and later to Fulham, where he played in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final.

Head Coach John van-t Schip said Duff-s vast experience in England would be integral to the team and would assist in the development of the squad-s young players.

“We-re excited to have a player of Damien-s quality and experience for this season. We believe he can offer international standard quality on the pitch and will also be a great professional example for our younger players,” van-t Schip said.

“His career speaks for itself. He has achieved almost everything at club level and has been a great player at an international level too. He comes to us straight from the English Premier League with Fulham, so he has been playing at the highest level against top teams and top players.

“When we met with Damien, he was excited about the opportunity here and keen to work with us to help make this project a success.”

Mauk and Garuccio both signed with the club in 2012 and their continued development at senior level has earned them regular call-ups for the Young Socceroos.

“Ben and Stef have worked hard for us and are two of the A-League-s exciting young players,” van-t Schip said. “We hope these players will learn a lot from the likes of Damien both on and off the pitch about what it takes to perform at the highest level as a professional footballer.”

Duff will be Melbourne City-s third “VISA” player for the 2014/15 season, with the club permitted two more VISA players, including an international marquee. He is due to join his new teammates in July.

In total the club has five further players it can sign to complete its 23-man squad with an additional (24th) guest player also permitted to play in up to ten games. Melbourne City last week announced David Villa will join the club for a period of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season.

Permanent playing squad signed for 2014/15 to date (18 players): James Brown, Connor Chapman, Damien Duff, Mate Dugandzic, Ben Garuccio, Jonatan Germano, Jason Hoffman, Nick Kalmar, Patrick Kisnorbo, Stefan Mauk, Jacob Melling, Aaron Mooy, Massimo Murdocca, Iain Ramsay, Andrew Redmayne, Tando Velaphi, Robbie Wielaert, David Williams

Player Details Damien Duff DOB: 2 March 1979 (age 35) Place of birth: Ballyboden, Dublin, Ireland Position: Winger Appearances: Blackburn Rovers [1996-2003] (184 apps, 27 goals), Chelsea [2003-2006] (81, 14), Newcastle United [2006-2009] (69, 5), Fulham [2009-2014] (119, 15) International: Ireland [1998-2012] (100, 8) Contract details: One-year contract (until end Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season)

Player Details Stefan Mauk DOB: 12 October 1995 (18) Place of birth: Bedford Park, Australia Position: Midfielder Appearances: (17, 0) International: Australia U-20 (3,0), Australia U-23 (4,0) Contract details: One-year contract extension (until end Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season)

Player Details Benjamin Garuccio DOB: 15 June 1995 (18) Place of birth: Adelaide, Australia Position: Left Winger/Left Back Appearances: (17, 0) International: Australia U-20 (6, 0) Contract details: Two-year contract extension (until end Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season)