JACK DOYLE has quickly established himself as a fans’ favourite since his transfer deadline day loan move from League One club, Blackburn Rovers last January.
The 21 year-old defender from Wirrel has slotted into Derry City’s left-back role with relative ease and his introduction to the team has coincided with the club’s upturn in fortunes.
Indeed, Doyle has been somewhat of a lucky charm for City as he’s yet to taste anything other than victory in the red and white Candy Stripes since making his debut in the 5-0 win over Limerick on March 12th.
And against the high flying Blues on Friday night at Brandywell, Doyle got the rewards his string of excellent displays deserved with a 53rd minute winning goal.
The left-back has added great balance to the Derry defence which has conceded just three goals in the past six games and his energy and aggression has been contagious and much appreciated by the Brandywell support.
His six month loan move from Blackburn has been a shrewd piece of business by City boss, Kenny Shiels and he’s delighted with his performances. He may have been frustrated to miss out on the capture of ex-Fulham left back, Sean Kavanagh to rivals Shamrock Rovers, but he’s certainly unearthed a gem in the down-to earth Liverpudlian.
“He works hard, he’s technically okay but he’s smart and he’s a defender,” said a delighted Shiels of his matchwinner after Friday’s 1-0 result against Waterford.
“Even though he was up the pitch you seen some of the recovery runs he made to get back into position and I’m delighted with Jack, he’s putting in good shifts.”
Doyle made his senior debut for Blackburn last August against Coventry in the Carabao Cup and was on the fringes of the League One club’s first team before opting for a loan move to the League of Ireland.
Members of his family made their first trip over to Derry to watch him play on Friday night and they couldn’t have picked a better match as he rose to head home Ronan Hale’s cross to hand City a stunning win.
Doyle even shaded the man of the match award ahead of his housemate, Gavin Peers who has been instrumental in securing clean sheets in his two appearances so far.
And while Doyle was ‘buzzing’ to get on the scoresheet, he refused to get carried away.
“I’m buzzing to get the win,” he said. “The lads dug deep. First half we didn’t do our best but second half we showed great character. But it’s gone now and we have to put it to one side and prepare for Monday night.”
While the focus immediately turned to tonight’s Bohs game, he was fully entitled to enjoy the plaudits, for a while at least.
“Definitely,” he agreed. “I’m buzzing to get my first goal. I’m enjoying my football here. I’m playing with a smile on my face and enjoying every minute of it. Hopefully we can keep the form going.
“I just want to give my all in every single game. I don’t want to get complacent and do what I know I’m good at it and build on it. I know there’s more to come from me so I’ll keep on improving.”
Recalling his goal, he thanked Ronan Curtis for moving out of the way and allowing him to get his header on target.
“It was a downward header. Ronan got in front of me and I shouted last minute to move out of the way and fair play to him he did and I stuck it in.”