Tuesday 11 December 2018

Boyle hoping to answer Ireland's call once his club form picks up

Andy Boyle is keen to play for his country again
Andy Boyle is keen to play for his country again

An international career is still very much on the agenda for defender Andy Boyle, a man keen to ensure that he does not finish life as a one-cap-wonder.

And while the former Dundalk man knows that he has to establish himself in the first team at Preston North End before anything else can happen, Boyle is determined to make things work at Deepdale and establish himself after a spell out in the cold.

Starting with tomorrow's home game against promotion rivals Sheffield United, Preston play six games in 21 days, a busy time when injury and suspension can come around.

Boyle (26) has made only three league appearances for Preston this season and has not played in their last four games, even though he helped the side keep a clean sheet on his last appearance.

But just as Daryl Horgan needed patience, Boyle is confident his time will come.

"It's a case of being patient, it's frustrating when you are not playing but you just have to be ready," Boyle told the Herald.

"That was the case at the start of last month when I got a few games in the side, we have a really busy period coming up over Christmas and hopefully my chance will come and I can take it.


"There is no suggestion of me leaving on loan or going back home. Down the line, if I am still not getting game time, I might have to look at things but at the moment I will wait for that chance.

"I have been in almost every squad over the last two months and played some games last month, you do want to play every week. So I just work as hard as I can in training."

This time last year, Boyle's season had just finished, with Dundalk's final Europa League game in Israel. "It's been a big change in 12 months, a lot has happened, this time last year I was finishing up with Dundalk, trying to get ready for Christmas and the move over to Preston," he says.

"I got into the Preston team, got my international debut in March, there were some great milestones along the way.

"I was involved with the international team again over the summer, and that's something I want to get involved in again, I'd hope to force my way back into the manager's thinking with Ireland.


"Maybe it's only at the end of my career that I will look back and see that cap as a bigger achievement than I do now. I am trying to look forward and push on with Ireland so I'm not thinking about it too much.

"But I do know it's something I am really proud of, that achievement of having played for my country. It made my family very proud but I want more and it's up to me to achieve that, to force my way into the Preston team on a regular basis and take it from there.

"I need to get into the Preston team first off, we have so many games in the Championship at this time of year that there will be injuries or suspensions, dips in form, and when you get the chance you have to be ready, and that's down to me. I think I played well in the games that I had," he said.

Boyle, who travelled back home to see his old side Dundalk lose in the FAI Cup final, is also upbeat about injured team-mate Seán Maguire.

"It was hard on Seanie to get the injury when he did, he was flying at the time and he'd have had a good chance of playing in the play-off games with Ireland but that's the nature of football and I am sure he will be even stronger when he comes back."

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