Longford Town boss Daire Doyle: 'I think we have the potential to achieve something special and that will be the aim going forward'

Thu, Dec 05 2019

Daire Doyle was previously assistant to Neale Fenn at Longford Town Credit: Larry McQuillan (ETPhotos)

Recently installed Longford Town boss Daire Doyle admits that he is excited with his side’s potential ahead of next season.

Doyle was confirmed as the club’s new permanent boss in the wake of Neale Fenn’s departure in August last month, and he has been busy getting to work on his squad for 2020.

“I’m really happy with how things have gone (in the off-season),” the former Longford captain told extratime.ie

“We’ve made a few good re-signings with players who made a big impact last year that had offers from other clubs in the Premier Division and they decided to stay with ourselves.

“They’ve seen what we want to achieve and what we want to do at the club, and they’ve bought into it.

“Rob Manley and James English are two players who were in demand and I’m delighted they’ve come and decided to play for Longford.”

And the 39-year-old added; “As soon as I was installed on permanent basis it was very important to retain a number of players and keep them in the group.

“There’s a nucleus of a really strong squad there and for us to keep them together was huge. They know how we operate, how we train, and they’ve all bought in for what we want to achieve.”

However, while the Dubliner has kept the nucleus of his squad together, he has lost the duo of Conor Kenna and Paul O’Conor to retirement.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the professionalism of the lads.

“In Conor’s situation it was something we only found out recently. We tried to talk him round to try and get another year out of him because I really thought he had it in him.

“I was in a number of meetings with him and conversations to try and convince him to stay on, but   I’ve got to respect his decision.

“He’s had a really good career. He’s finished the season as one of the top centre halves and got into the team of the year.

“He played every minute of every game and from his point of view he couldn’t have gone out in a better way.

“As regards Paul, I knew towards the end of the season that he was thinking of it with work commitments.

“I knew that’s what Paul was thinking but Paul has had a really good career in the league, and I wish both Paul and Conor the best going forward.”

And while the loss of the experienced duo will be a blow, Doyle is hopeful that he can follow the lead of Shelbourne’s Ian Morris who led the Reds back to the top-flight in just his first year of senior management.

“Of course, you can (take inspiration),” The former Coventry City youth said.  

“It’s fantastic to see such a young manager and what he has achieved at the club and where they’ve gone.

“That’s where we want to be as a group and as players and everyone at the club wants to be at that level.

“It shows that despite being a young manager and being inexperienced in the role, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get success.

“It’s great that young managers are getting a go in the League of Ireland and being successful, and that’s something I hope to do next season at Longford Town.”

The former Bray Wanderers and Drogheda midfielder added; “I was delighted to get the job but at the same time, I was under no illusions it was a given that I was going to get the job.

“There was a high-calibre of candidates that applied for the job. In football anything can happen, and I was prepared either way that it could be the first time I was possibly out of football since I was 17 or I was going to take the next step and be manager of the club.

“When I was given the opportunity to take over, I was delighted. I’ve been working towards it for years and when the opportunity came – I threw my name in the hat and it’s an honour to be the manager of the club.”

And he made no secret of what the aim is at the Strokestown Road venue ahead of next season.

“We do want to win the league and we’re trying to put together a squad and group of players and staff that will help us to do that - I think that has to be our aim and our goal.

“I think we have a lot of good players at the club that can help us do that. It’s going to be up to us as a staff and the lads as players to kick on and push each other and make sure we achieve something.

“I think we have the potential to achieve something special and that will be the aim going forward. It’s pointless saying that I just want to get into the Playoffs.

“We want to aim to win the league and I think that’s important. When you play at the club and have the players that we have maybe it is a bit of pressure but it’s a pressure you want playing football.

“It would be worse if it was the opposite case that you don’t have ambition. Talking to all the players and staff that we have, we want to achieve something and if we are going to do that, winning the league has to be our aim.”