Wednesday 19 September 2018

Doyle glad to bring 'publicity' to Model football in advisory role

Doyle: into Wexford set-up. Photo: Sportsfile
Doyle: into Wexford set-up. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Former Irish soccer international Kevin Doyle is looking forward to the challenge of switching codes as he takes up an advisory role with the Wexford U-20 footballers this season.

It's a surprise move for the former Wolves and Reading striker, who retired from the game last September due to repeated concussions.

However, having played with the Adamstown GAA club in his youth, Doyle is going back to his roots for his first coaching role.

Doyle's recruitment was revealed via Twitter by selector and former Wexford footballer PJ Banville, who described him as "a great addition for Wexford football".

Speaking to Off The Ball AM, Doyle explained the move back to GAA.

"A friend of mine is involved, Eric Bradley, that I would have played soccer and football with growing up. He was a former inter-county footballer and he's involved with the U-20s.

"He rang a few weeks ago wondering if I'd go in and speak with the lads and help out a few nights; just bring a bit of publicity and something else to it.

"I haven't been watching a whole lot of Gaelic football over the years, since I stopped playing. It'll be fun, it'll be fun to see something a bit different and help in whatever way I can.

"I don't know what I'm going to add to the mix but at least we're talking about it."

Doyle won't be the only soccer recruit involved with manager Brendan Kehoe's backroom as the Adamstown clubman can also call on ex-Wexford and Waterford United goalkeeper Gavin Morris, who has linked up with the side as goalkeeping coach.

Meanwhile, Westmeath's Ray Connellan is in line to make his senior debut for Aussie Rules side St Kilda today.

After spending his first year with the Saints getting to grips with the unique demands of the oval ball, the Athlone native has been included in the club's 20-man squad for the inaugural AFLX tournament.

A pre-season competition, much like football's O'Byrne Cup, it will offer Connellan to chance to shine against both Essendon and Hawthorn as he looks to force his way into manager Alan Richardson's plans for the coming AFL season.

Elsewhere, Down boss Eamonn Burns has been dealt a blow for 2018 with the news that full-back Gerard McGovern has opted out of inter-county football for the year as he intends to go travelling.

The Burren defender featured in the Mourne men's opening Division 2 league win over Louth but has since left the fold, with a disappointed Burns outlining that GAA players are "amateur players in a professional set-up".

"He plans to go travelling, he has work commitments and was finding it hard to make training, so he decided to pull out" Burns told the 'Irish News'.

"It's very disappointing from our perspective. I think he is planning to travel to America and then on to Australia.

"We don't have the players contracted, it's not a professional game - although they are amateur players in a professional set-up."

Another player unlikely to feature for the rest of this year is Offaly's Johnny Moloney after the Tullamore defender opted out of Stephen Wallace's Faithful squad.

Irish Independent

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