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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 5 June, 2020

One-time Ireland international joins side rock bottom of the Football League

Dubliner Michael Doyle has dropped down a division, leaving Coventry for Notts County.

Michael Doyle has left Coventry for Notts County.
Michael Doyle has left Coventry for Notts County.

IRISH MIDFIELDER MICHAEL Doyle was one of the players on the move during Thursday’s Transfer Deadline Day, as he dropped down a division, swapping Coventry for Notts County — the side currently rock bottom of League Two.

The 37-year-old midfielder, who earned one Ireland cap off the bench in a 1-0 win over Holland in 2004, was in his second stint at the Sky Blues.

The Dubliner played an important role for Coventry last season, making 52 appearances as they were promoted from League Two via the play-offs — defeating Notts County in the semi-final.

However, this season, team captain Doyle has found his first-team opportunities limited since losing his place in the side in November and the arrival to the club of fellow Irish midfielder David Meyler paved the way for his exit, despite the Sky Blues initially rejecting expressions of interest in relation to the experienced player.

The former Sheffield United and Portsmouth player now faces the arduous task of trying to help rejuvenate a Notts County side in danger of relegation.

“Michael has been a key player for us since he re-joined the club in 2017,” Coventry boss Mark Robins said of the departing midfielder.

“He has been a great example for our squad both on and off the field, was a huge part in our promotion to League One last season and an asset to the club as a whole.

Michael has not featured for us in the last few months and at Michael’s stage of his career, he is understandably keen to play regular football and that opportunity has arisen at Notts County for him.

“On behalf of Coventry City Football Club, I would like to thank Michael for his contribution to the club over many years and wish him all the best for his future career.

“I look forward to working with him again in the future in a coaching capacity at the Club.”

“I’ve got great memories at this club and now I’m looking forward to pulling on the shirt,” Doyle said of the Notts County move.

“Hopefully I’m one of the people who can make a difference in the challenge which faces us, because I feel like I’m at my best with my back against the wall.

“I’ll try to get on the ball and get the team playing and hopefully I bring some leadership and experience.

“This is a great club with a lot of tradition and I know the battle I’ve walked into, but I’ll be trying to keep the good memories going here.”

On the relegation-threatened club, who have encountered a number of problems in recent times, Doyle added.

“I’d ask the fans to leave any negativity at the door and be as positive as you can.

“We’ve got to do it on the pitch first but there are going to be times when we need help from the stands as well.

Everyone getting behind us and backing the club will help to create positivity which makes a difference for the players.

“Let’s get the lads fired up, feeling good and wanting to play for Notts County and get us back up the league.”

Simon Zebo joins Gavan and Murray for a special live recording of the podcast in Dublin’s Liberty Hall Theatre to preview Ireland’s Six Nations opener against England:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Fennessy

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