Euro finals dream is alive for prodigal son Kevin Doyle
He says he's the fittest he has ever been and for for Kevin Doyle, Ireland's Euro 2016 hopes are also in good shape as the international side enter a key phase of qualification.
A move to the USA earlier this year, when he quit Wolves for Colorado Rapids, appeared to have ended Doyle's international hopes but the 31-year-old is back in the frame and eager for some European Championship action against Gibraltar tomorrow and a chance to stay involved for the Euro 2016 finals. "I wasn't part of the last squad so it's nice to be back involved again," says Doyle.
"Looking forward to the games, we need six points from the two games to give ourselves a realistic opportunity going into the last two, so they are two big games for us. Win both and it puts us right in the mix with two games to go, Germany and Poland after that, it's not over.
"The other teams have to play each other and take points off each other so it's up to us to concentrate on ourselves, get the six points which is what we need.
"It's probably the hardest group the four of us are fighting for the four spots. Anyone can beat anyone, as we showed going to Germany and getting a draw there. If it comes down to us needing to win in a few weeks' time facing Germany, it's definitely possible.
"We have to give ourselves that chance in a few weeks in these two games," added Doyle, in good shape and good form on the back of a good run in the MLS with Rapids, (where according to officially-published salary lists, which are published, the $1million a year man Doyle is the highest earner).
"I've really enjoyed playing soccer recently, I feel as fit as I've ever done," he says.
"Playing at altitude in Colorado and training every day in 30 degrees, it's easy to be fit and to feel healthy and strong. Hopefully that shows to the manager here. I haven't played a lot of football in the last year and a half and I have done in the last three months, so I'm looking forward to showing what I can do if I get the chance."