Everton defender Shane Duffy's brush with death made him even more determined to succeed as a professional footballer.

The then 18-year-old underwent emergency surgery after suffering a freak injury to his liver while playing in a Republic of Ireland practice match in May 2010. Almost two years on, Duffy is in line to make his senior debut for Ireland in Wednesday's friendly clash with the Czech Republic and - while he prefers not to dwell on the events of that day - it proved a pivotal point in his career.

Asked if he could have imagined how the period since would unfold, the 20-year-old said: "You do always hope so. I always hoped that I could still play football after, and I still did. I believed in myself."

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