Thursday 8 December 2016

Doyle keen to make most of chance to revive Irish ambitions

Published 11/11/2016 | 02:30

Kevin Doyle:
Kevin Doyle: "When I got injured, it crossed my mind (that) I didn't want being carried off the pitch to be the last time that I would be involved"

Kevin Doyle is desperate to make up for lost time in Vienna after admitting he feared his Irish career was over when he suffered a horrific injury last March.

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Martin O'Neill's striking problems - Shane Long and Daryl Murphy are out - give Doyle a chance of featuring at some stage in the crucial World Cup qualifier with Austria.

He wondered if he would ever figure again after the deep gash he sustained in March's friendly with Switzerland prevented him from staking a claim for involvement in France.

Doyle was named in the long list ahead of the Euros but was surplus to O'Neill's requirements. However, he is now in the frame for a first competitive contribution since a sub cameo against Gibraltar in October 2014.

"When I got injured, it crossed my mind (that) I didn't want being carried off the pitch to be the last time that I would be involved," said the 33-year-old Colorado Rapids striker.

Enjoyment

"I'm at that age now where you just don't know when, especially with your international career, how much longer it is going to last."

Doyle is in good form at the moment after helping Colorado to what is effectively the semi-finals of the MLS Cup and the enjoyment of competing at the top end of the table offered comfort to get over the disappointment of not being a part of the French experience.

"I missed the Euros and, to be honest, being in America helped with that because the games were on at all hours of the morning so I missed a lot of the hype. It helped me to deal with it a bit.

"They did really well and I wasn't sure if I would be involved once they came back or not, but the call came for this camp and I was happy to come in."

Doyle and his team-mates travelled to Vienna after training in Abbotstown yesterday. Leeds midfielder Eunan O'Kane did not make the trip as he has returned to his employers with a groin problem. John O'Shea and James McClean were involved in the session and have put themselves in contention to figure.

Irish Independent

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