Michael Doyle (footballer)

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Michael Doyle
Michael Doyle 2 SUFC jrs1967 Owned Image.png
Personal information
Full name Michael Paul Doyle
Date of birth (1981-08-08) 8 August 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2003 Celtic 0 (0)
2001–2002 AGF Aarhus (loan) 22 (4)
2003–2011 Coventry City 264 (22)
2009–2010 Leeds United (loan) 42 (0)
2011–2015 Sheffield United 183 (9)
National team
2007 Republic of Ireland B 1 (0)
2006 Republic of Ireland 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:37, 8 April 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Michael Paul Doyle (born 8 August 1981) is an Irish footballer . Born in Dublin, Doyle started his career at Celtic before a spell on loan in Denmark playing for AGF Aarhus. He subsequently spent the majority of his career to date with Coventry City and Sheffield United. Doyle has also been capped once by the Republic of Ireland..

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Doyle began his career as a trainee at Celtic turning full professional for them in August 1998. He and fellow Celtic teammate Liam Miller had a spell on loan in the Danish Premier League at club AGF Aarhus, with Doyle playing 22 League games and scoring four goals for the Danish side. During his time at Celtic, Doyle failed to make a single league appearance for the first team.

Coventry City[edit]

After the loan spell ended, the tenacious central midfielder was then signed for Coventry by Gary McAllister after a successful trial, having been recommended by McAllister's assistant Eric Black who worked with Doyle at Celtic. Doyle made his début against Peterborough United in the Football League Cup in August 2003, and scored in his appearance away against Ipswich Town in a 1–1 draw. Doyle played regularly throughout the season either side under the management of both McAllister and his successor Black.

Under Peter Reid, Doyle continued to play whenever fit, forging a useful partnership with captain Stephen Hughes. After Reid's departure Doyle continued to be favoured by new manager Micky Adams, scoring in the crucial away win at Watford, as the side avoided relegation from the Championship.

In 2005–06, Doyle continued to play regularly, captaining the side on a number of occasions since Christmas, notably in the 2–0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. This came in his first match after a suspension for his dismissal in the previous home game against Crewe Alexandra for arguing with the referee. Doyle was named permanent captain of Coventry by Iain Dowie. Doyle was part of the Coventry team that beat Manchester United in the League Cup at Old Trafford, which remains one of the most famous League Cup upset's in recent years.

During the 2008–09 season, Doyle was a regular under Chris Coleman, starting 39 games for Coventry in all competitions. But due to the signing of Sammy Clingan from Norwich in the summer of 2009, Doyle found his first team place under threat, the reason for him wishing to seek guaranteed first team football elsewhere.

At the start of the 2009–2010 season Doyle joined Leeds United on a season long loan[1] and made his first team début in the first game of the season,a win against Exeter. Having become first choice in midfield Doyle said in an interview to Yorkshire Evening Post on in October that he would love to make his loan move from Coventry permanent, and he hoped that if he could impress manager Simon Grayson enough and earn Leeds promotion that it would help his chances in securing a permanent contract at the Elland Road club.[citation needed] In his first six-months at Leeds, Doyle has been a regular starter partnering either Neil Kilkenny or Jonathan Howson in centre midfield, with Doyle only missing games through suspension or being rested by Simon Grayson for squad rotation.

After Leeds were knocked out of the Football League Trophy, Doyle was dropped from the starting line-up for the first time in the league against Leyton Orient but remained a regular first team player. Leeds were duly promoted to the Football League Championship after finishing in second place in League One and thus earning automatic promotion. In total Doyle had played 52 games for Leeds in all competitions during the course of the season.[2] After promotion, Doyle claimed in interviews that he still wanted to join Leeds permanently rather than return to Coventry.[3][4] He also revealed that promotion with Leeds was his greatest achievement of his football career to date.[3]

Leeds manager Simon Grayson decided not to sign Doyle permanently,[5] Doyle returned to Coventry. During Doyle's loan at Leeds, Coventry manager Chris Coleman had been sacked and succeeded by Adrian Boothroyd, who saw Doyle as an important member of the team. Doyle started the season as first choice midfielder alongside Lee Carsley in the heart of Coventry's midfield before dropping to the bench as the season progressed. Following this and in the build up to Coventry's game against his former club Leeds, Doyle controversially stated that his time at Leeds was the best year of his life.[6] Back in the side Doyle scored his first goal for 21 months in November, a long range effort against Burnley.[7]

Doyle playing for the Blades against Oldham Athletic in 2011.

Sheffield United[edit]

Doyle signed for Sheffield United on a free transfer during the January 2011 transfer window, a move that reunited him with former boss Micky Adams,[8] and made his début in a 1–0 loss to Leicester City a few days later. He played regularly for the remainder of the season but with the club in decline he was unable to help to stop the Blades slipping to relegation. Regaining his place in the starting eleven at the outset of the following season, Doyle was awarded with the captain's armband as he played regularly in the centre of midfield. As the team challenged for promotion, Doyle scored his first goal for the Blades in January 2012, scoring against Yeovil Town at Bramall Lane.[9]

United failed to gain promotion, but in September 2012, Doyle signed a new three-year contract with the club, committing his future until 2015.[10] Doyle remained a regular in the side throughout the season as United fought another fruitless promotion battle.

International career[edit]

Doyle made his début for the Republic of Ireland in 2006, but it remains his only cap to date. In 2007 he played for the Republic of Ireland B team.


Career statistics[edit]

As of 8 April 2015.[11]
Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy Play-offs Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2003–04 Coventry City Championship 40 5 5 1 2 0 47 6
2004–05 44 2 2 0 3 1 49 3
2005–06 44 0 3 0 2 0 49 0
2006–07 40 3 2 0 0 0 42 3
2007–08 42 7 3 0 4 0 49 7
2008–09 37 2 5 1 2 0 44 3
2009–10 Leeds United (loan) League One 42 0 6 0 3 0 1 0 52 0
2010–11 Coventry City Championship 17 3 5 1 2 0 24 3
Coventry City Total 264 22 25 3 15 1 0 0 0 0 304 25
2010–11 Sheffield United Championship 16 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
2011–12 League One 43 3 4 0 2 0 2 0 3 0 54 3
2012–13 43 3 4 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 52 3
2013–14 40 2 6 0 1 1 1 0 48 3
2014–15 38 1 5 0 7 0 1 0 0 0 51 1
Sheffield United Total 183 9 18 0 11 1 6 0 5 0 218 10
Total 489 31 49 3 29 2 7 0 5 0 580 35


  1. ^ "Doyle to Leeds in season loan". Coventry City F.C. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "United boss shrugs off Mac attack". Leeds United F.C. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Michael Doyle: Leeds United know I want to stay". Coventry Telegraph. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Struggle's been worthwhile for promotion – Doyle". Yorkshire Evening Post. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "Leeds United: Grayson plays down his interest in Doyle". Yorkshire Evening Post. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Leeds United was best year of my life – Doyle". Yorkshire Evening Post. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "Doyle ends Sky Blues' bad run". Sky Sports. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "Doyle's the boy for Blades". The Sun. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Doyle ends long wait as Blades overhaul Owls again". The Yorkshire Post. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sheffield United skipper Michael Doyle signs new deal". BBC Sport. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Michael Doyle". Soccerbase. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 

External links[edit]