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Kildare star Eoin Doyle back with a bang for Naas

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Eoin Doyle was famously installed as player/manager in the middle of last season when Naas parted ways with Paul Kelly. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Eoin Doyle was famously installed as player/manager in the middle of last season when Naas parted ways with Paul Kelly. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Eoin Doyle was famously installed as player/manager in the middle of last season when Naas parted ways with Paul Kelly. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Former Kildare football captain Eoin Doyle has made a successful return to action with Naas, having missed the entire inter-county season with a variety of injuries.

Doyle never featured at any stage in Glenn Ryan’s first season at the helm with the Lilies, having been dogged by injury – including a tear of his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) – as they were knocked out in the qualifiers.

The former Ireland International Rules star had targeted a club return in mid-July and he has made good on that, having been prominent in defence for the Kildare SFC champions in recent victories over Eadestown and Athy.

“When I went back in with Kildare after the club season I had a couple of groin issues – and I kind of wrote off the whole of the league, trying to get them right,” Doyle told the Irish Independent.

“Towards the end of our last league game I was doing my second or third session back over in Hawkfield, and I just landed on my knee awkwardly and tore my PCL, so that left me gone for another three months.

“I did maybe two or three training sessions with Kildare all year, so it was frustrating from that perspective, but that’s the way it goes unfortunately.”

Doyle was famously installed as player/manager in the middle of last season when Naas parted ways with Paul Kelly, but he relinquished that role having helped guide them to a first county title in 31 years, as well as a Leinster final place.

“I’m very glad to pass that baton on, thank God,” Doyle says before joking that “I still got the sack after losing the Leinster final, so I don’t know what’s that telling me.”

Carlow native Joe Murphy, who led Éire Óg to four Carlow SFC titles in a row, as well as a Leinster final place in 2019, has since taken the reins as Naas bid to build on an extraordinary 2021.

As well as getting their hands on the Dermot Bourke Cup for the first time since 1990, Naas also secured a famous All-Ireland intermediate club hurling success in Croke Park last February.

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