Come February 22nd it will have been 153 days without a competitive ball being kicked for Jamie Doyle and his Longford Town FC teammates. To put that into context, that is almost five months without De Town taking to the field of play in a competitive setting. As the days count down ever so slowly, Town striker Jamie Doyle caught up with LTFC.ie’s Andrew Dempsey as the excitement ratchets up another notch towards the season opener away to Limerick FC on February 22nd.
Having returned to pre-season training shortly after Christmas to meet up with his teammates after the long break, in a footballing capacity at least, the former Bohemians and UCD hitman revealed that pre-season preparations are going well thus far.
“Pre-season is going well. All the squad are pulling together in the one direction looking for promotion. There’s no injuries just yet and everyone is happy! Our last game was in September versus UCD and that feels like a lifetime ago so roll on Limerick in three- or four-weeks’ time. Everyone in the squad is pulling in towards that game and we are all looking forward to it beginning again!”
In terms of blending into the squad, Jamie noted that the ideal mix of both youth and experience will be massive aid to De Town’s aspirations of 2019 at the City Calling Stadium.
“The new signings have been great. Neale has obviously brought in a good mix of youth and experience this year. Anto Breslin has come in and has looked excellent, coming in from Wolves. Paul O’Conor has also come in bringing in much experience, so all is good. It’s all blending in quite nicely at the moment!”
Reflecting on his best moments in the Longford Town jersey to date, the former Shelbourne target man admitted that his favourite memory in the Red and Black would have to be the superb 2-0 win over his former employers in the FAI Cup Second Round in August 2018.
“I would have to say when we knocked out Shels in the FAI Cup last year would be my favourite moment for Longford. They had beaten us 6-1 a couple of weeks before and it didn’t feel like wee got what we deserved in the end. It was nice to beat them after all that.”
While De Town just about missed out on the playoffs last term, the 25-year-old former UCD man admits that injuries took away from De Town’s playoff charge in the end.
“I thought we didn’t have the depth in the squad towards the end of last year. We had a couple of key injuries at the end of last year and we just couldn’t keep up. We lost our experience from injuries and that was that.”
Despite that, the striker, once of LSL side Leixlip United is confident that the squad has been added to accordingly which will hopefully drive the team on towards an even better finish come September 2019.
“However, we’ve added to the squad big time this year and everyone seems to be doing well and maybe that can help us go one step closer this year!”
Looking at the side’s ambitions for 2019, Doyle has fired warning shots towards the rest of the division.
“We want to win the league outright! There’s no point in playing otherwise, I think. If we get into the Playoffs all well and good but we want to win the league, that’s it!”
And finally, Neale Fenn’s key attacking outlet has called on the club’s supporters to get right behind the team this year, admitting that the support from the stands really does help in pushing the team when the going gets tough on the field of play.
“Hopefully the fans can come out in numbers again to get behind us. They’ve been absolutely brilliant since I’ve come in last season and even the away support was unbelievable as well. They were brilliant at the likes of Galway and Drogheda last season, it was brilliant and if they can do the same it will be a massive help and we’ll go far!”