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The former Boys in Green Under-21 captain is determined to work his way into first-team plans at Goodison Park and says he cannot dwell on his life-threatening injury

Everton defender Shane Duffy says that it is up to him to force his way into Roberto Martinez's plans.

Duffy is currently involved with the Republic of Ireland squad for their summer friendly fixtures after impressing Martin O'Neill while on loan in the Championship with Yeovil Town.

The former Under-21 captain says that he has a chance to impress the Toffees boss this summer, but admitted that he would consider his options should he be deemed surplus to requirements.

"Roberto told me that pre-season was my chance to shine," Duffy told the Irish Independent.

"And he's said to me that if I am where he thinks I am, from what he's seen of me this season, then I'm going to be involved.

"And if I'm not, we'll see at the end of pre-season what we're going to do. It's a big summer for me, it's up to me."

Derry native Duffy is part of a strong Irish contingent at Goodison Park, which also includes Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady and James McCarthy.

Coleman, in particular, enjoyed a successful season, scoring six league goals, and his performances saw him named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season. Duffy explained that he takes inspiration from the former Sligo Rovers full back.

"Seeing Seamus progress is brilliant for me because he's such a hard worker and it's a reward for how he lives," said the 22-year-old. "And he's very good to me, he says, 'If I can do it, you can do it' so we'll see what happens."

Duffy's involvement with the Ireland team this summer comes four years after he almost lost his life while playing a 'bounce' game for Giovanni Trapattoni's team against the Republic of Ireland amateur team at Gannon Park.

A collision during the game saw the defender rushed to hospital with a lacerated hepatic artery, which required emergency surgery. However, while the defender is aware of how fortunate he is to be alive, he insists that he must not dwell on the incident.

"It's great to be here and able to look back and talk about it," said Duffy. "But I can't be thinking about it either.

"The kind of player I am, I have to go and attack stuff. I've clattered into a few goalkeepers this year and it's been no problem."

Republic of Ireland face Italy at Craven Cottage on Saturday, May 31. Kick off 19.45 BST.

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