Bury v Bradford City: Goalkeeper Doyle flying high for both club and country

Bradford City goalkeeper Colin Doyle in action against Rotherham earlier this season. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA
Bradford City goalkeeper Colin Doyle in action against Rotherham earlier this season. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA
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Bradford City goalkeeper Colin Doyle is aiming to round off a momentous past 10 days in fitting fashion at Gigg Lane today.

Doyle may have had his fair share of aeroplane journeys and disrupted sleeping patterns of late, but you will not catch him complaining – the Bantams are flying high in League One and the Republic of Ireland are just two games away from reaching the World Cup.

After clocking up the miles in heading to Dublin to link up with his Ireland colleagues ahead of the World Cup qualifier with Moldova last Friday, Doyle got the green light to fly over to England to feature in City’s emphatic win at MK Dons before returning to the Emerald Isle for preparations for Monday’s historic victory in Wales – then another flight back.

The next footballing destination point is much closer to home in Bury, with the third-choice Ireland goalkeeper eyeing another exuberant feeling at the final whistle today in front of a bumper away contingent.

On ending a fine spell with another win today, Doyle said: “It would crown things.

“Going away with Ireland ... it is an honour being selected for your country. Westy (Keiren Westwood) was not available as he’d fractured a rib or something and I was pleased to be there and involved.

Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady (left) and Shane Duffy celebrate after the final whistle after beating Wales in Cardiff last Monday. Picture: Nigel French/PA.

Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady (left) and Shane Duffy celebrate after the final whistle after beating Wales in Cardiff last Monday. Picture: Nigel French/PA.

“The celebrations with the fans afterwards and players in the changing room (in Cardiff) is something you will never forget.

“It will be a pleasing week if we get these three points as well and will be nice to top off a big 10 days with a win.”

The Dubliner, in eye-catching form for Bradford in recent weeks, quipped: “I texted the gaffer after the Ireland game (on Monday) and said, ‘I will see you on Saturday and I will fly in on Saturday for the game against Bury’. He sent a few little smiley faces back.

“I think I have done enough flying to last me a year now. I wanted to play the MK Dons game and they (Bradford) asked the question would I come back if Ireland let me and I asked the question on the Tuesday when I turned into training and they agreed.

I was pleased to be there and involved. The celebrations with the fans afterwards and players in the changing room (in Cardiff) is something you will never forget.

Bradford City goalkeeper Colin Doyle

“It is one of them – there was lack of sleep as I probably didn’t get in from the (Friday) game until about 1.30am. And the alarm went off at 5.30am to get the flight to England.

“I had a little power-nap from Gatwick to MK, which was nice.

“I freshened up in the hotel and we were able to get the three points, which was obviously pleasing.”

International attention now switches to Ireland’s play-off next month and even though he is unlikely to feature on the pitch, Doyle is very much enjoying the ride, deriving plenty of pleasure from his involvement in a potentially historic time for the Republic, which could see him secure a World Cup place.

He added: “It is an honour to be selected by your country as they pick three goalkeepers and you are part of that group.

“If we can do the job in the play-offs then we are going to a World Cup in the summer and – touch wood – I am injury-free and I have a chance of being selected for that.”