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Thursday 19 October 2017

Goalkeeper Doyle ready to end 10-year wait for cap

Colin Doyle of Republic of Ireland during squad training at NY Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, New Jersey, USA. Photo: Sportsfile
Colin Doyle of Republic of Ireland during squad training at NY Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, New Jersey, USA. Photo: Sportsfile

Patience will pay off for Colin Doyle in the USA tonight as he hopes to bridge a 10-year gap between his first and second caps.

The Bradford City keeper is in the Irish squad for the friendly against Mexico (1.36am Irish time), one of six players in the 19-man squad to have just one cap or less on his CV. Doyle made his international debut on US soil, in a friendly against Ecuador in New York during the summer 2007 tour, but since then he's been so low in the pecking order for goalkeepers that his only involvement since has been the occasional call-up as cover.

But he could get on the field at some stage against the Mexicans.

"It's been a long time since I got my first cap," Doyle recalls.

"It was an honour playing for your country and then doing it meant a lot. It was obviously disappointing not to get any more and if I can now, then it will be fantastic.

"That game was at Giants Stadium, it was brilliant but it's a long time ago now.

"It does mean a lot, it's every kid's dream to play for your country, it's a kid's dream to be a professional footballer, you go through the underage side and you eventually, some players go over and have to come back and don't make it.

"You get into the first team and then your next aim is to try and stay in it, and then try and break in for your country which I did."

For large chunks of that 10-year spell, he was unable to shout too loudly about his non-involvement at international level as Doyle was not playing much club football, second choice at Birmingham City (behind Darren Randolph at times) for a long stint, but his 2016 move to Bradford City has seen him shunted up the ladder, though competition was intense at times especially as Shay Given owned the No. 2 shirt for so long.

"Shay could have played until he's 50-odd, without a doubt," says Doyle.

"Shay was the number one for years and years and then there was Darren (Randolph) and Westy (Keiren Westwood) as well, and obviously Fordey (David Forde) as well.

"I's been a strong department in Ireland which is healthy.

"It's frustrating I haven't got more than one cap but it's part and parcel of being involved in squads and not having played so hopefully fingers crossed I might get some sort of game," added Doyle, pleased that his move to Bradford (via Blackpool) has worked in his favour.

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