Sunday 22 April 2018

Taxing times ahead for Dail man Doyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

SPORT and politics are mixing freely for Wexford's Aindreas Doyle.

As parliamentary secretary for embattled TD Mick Wallace, Doyle has had his hands full for the last fortnight as the tax controversy engulfed the Wexford independent's office. Media queries and no little abuse flowed in, so when it comes to discussing Wexford's chances in Sunday's Leinster SFC semi-final date with Dublin, he's happy to shoot the breeze.

"There were people threatening to fight me at times, loads of crazy stuff coming in," he says, reflecting on a couple of hectic weeks which also saw him attempt to recover from a hamstring injury.

"The first morning I came into work, there were 35 phone messages, the next day there was 27, then it went to 15, then 10, then something else happens and it goes back to 40.

"It kept going up and down again but just constant messages or emails from journalists wanting to speak to Mick. He wasn't doing a whole lot of media. That was a big part of it."

Doyle played for Wallace on his underage Wexford Youths teams and has a master in public affairs and political communication. And when the Wexford builder declared his candidacy, Doyle came on board.

"Mick is very different from a lot of politicians because he attracts media for loads of different aspects of his life. We deal an awful lot with the media," he says.

"My side of things would be dealing with people in Wexford. I know the area and the people."

There has been a lot of speculation over Wallace's future, and Doyle would be out of a job should the TD leave office, but he has found the whole saga to be a welcome distraction ahead of the clash with the All-Ireland champions.

"I literally have the worst contract in the world. If he goes, I go, that day, that minute," says Doyle.

"But stuff like that is nearly a help. There is so much stuff on the work front, you don't think about it as much.

"Things were changing every hour. The whole situation... I could probably talk about it for a couple of hours. It was such a fractious situation, it was really interesting to be involved in it.

"It's dying down a little bit now. Some of the papers are still dragging it out. It has taken a lot of heat off the government for the last few weeks."

If the day job has been hectic, his football has been frustrating. He was forced to watch from the sidelines as Wexford turned Longford over at the fourth time of asking this season (two league meetings) in the Leinster quarter-final replay, and Doyle believes they took the midlanders for granted.

"Probably there was a little bit of complacency in the league final, some lads maybe thought we were just going to go out and win that game, maybe a little bit of disrespect for Longford," he admits.

"But certainly after that game we knew what Longford were about, and in the first championship game we were very lucky to come out with the draw.

"I think it would have papered over a few cracks if we had won that day. We were definitely slow to start in those games and Sunday is going to have to be different for us."

Doyle missed both those games due to a hamstring injury which has now healed, and while he admits that Dublin looked "devastating" against Louth, he'll offer no excuses if the Model men fail to turn Dublin over.

"We will have absolutely no excuses to go out on Sunday and not start at 100mph," he says. "Against Louth, they were devastating."

And while Doyle acknowledges Dublin's significant physical edge over Louth, he believes Wexford can counteract their style.

"That is a massive part of the game now and Dublin are after buying into that in a big way. I'm sure Louth were doing all that sort of stuff as well, but they had so many lads emigrating and so many lads injured that they found it difficult to go out and put in a performance," he says.

"There are ways and means of getting around Dublin's strength -- tactics are a massive part in the game and hopefully we will get it right.

"Jason Ryan is a modern manager and he puts in massive hours on the technical side of things, looking at DVDs of other games and other teams.

"So he will be putting together a game plan to counteract the running game Dublin play on the break, where they have really decimated some of the teams they have played in the last few years."

Irish Independent

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