Interview by Andrew Dempsey
(Originally published in this weekend's Talk Of The Town match programme)
Having joined the club from Shelbourne in the summer transfer window to ease Neale Fenn’s attacking woes, new Town signing Jamie Doyle burst onto the Longford Town scene with bang following a superb brace at Éamonn Deacy Park last week.
With that goal-scoring monkey now officially off his back, Jamie spoke with the Longford Town FC official matchday programme ahead of the tantalising home clash against Shelbourne in the 2nd Round of the FAI Cup on Saturday evening at the City Calling Stadium.
With news of his signature coming just days after De Town’s superb win over UCD at the Belfield Bowl, the 24-year-old target man revealed that he has enjoyed every minute of his spell at the club to date since his move from our upcoming opponents Shelbourne at the beginning of the summer transfer window.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club so far! The lads have all made me feel very welcome since I came in on July 1st. I knew quite a few of the lads coming into the club anyway before I came to the City Calling Stadium and knowing the assistant manager Daire Doyle was a bonus as well, so I’ve settled into the group very well!”
While knowing a fair few of his new teammates prior to his arrival at the City Calling Stadium, Jamie wasn’t all too familiar with many of his new teammates as he walked into the dressing room for the very first time.
However, getting to build relationships with his new partners in crime wasn’t that much of an issue as we have seen in recent games given the superb on-pitch connection between Doyle and the creative forces empowering the Town first-team, which Jamie remarked on.
“Yeah the lads have been great to me so far! I’ve never played with Darren Meenan or Dylan McGlade before and I seem to have struck up a good partnership with the lads already during the last couple of games alongside Sam Verdon, so it’s been enjoyable for myself since I came in. I’m a close friend of Daniel O’Reilly from before so I suppose that helps a bit!”
Given the contrast in footballing styles between Neale Fenn’s Longford Town and Owen Heary’s Shelbourne, it would be easy to suggest that the former UCD hitman would struggle to adapt to his new style of play at the City Calling Stadium.
Despite this, the ex-Leixlip United striker noted that he has found the transition into Neale’s side as rather seamless given his experience under a possession-based system at UCD back in 2015.
“What Neale is implementing here at the minute suits me right down to the ground. I know at Shels I was playing under a much different playing style, but I was at UCD a few years back, so I’m well used to passing the ball around the deck. We played a similar way there a few years ago so I found it easy enough getting back into the swing of things once again!”
As mentioned previously, our new number nine announced his grand arrival when it mattered last Friday night when it mattered most against Galway United.
Along with the magnificent Dylan McGlade, the Dubliner scored a fantastic double to send De Town on their way to morale boosting win against the Tribesmen to get his Longford Town account up and running, much to his relief after a few good chances evaded him in recent games.
“I was thrilled to get my first couple of goals for the club against Galway on Friday evening. I nearly had a few against Shels not so long ago so I was itching to get a few goals under my belt. It was great to get that monkey off my back against Galway so hopefully I can keep them going in the back of the net between now and the end of the season!”
The FAI Cup will always have a special place in the heart of many a Longford Town fan. The cup wins of 2003 and 04’ are still etched in the memory of even the least interested Town supporter given the buzz and excitement it created for the county.
Comparing a cup tie to a league one is nigh on impossible, as mentioned by Doyle who relishes the freedom that a cup game brings up compared to the high-pressure nature of a normal league game where everyone is scrapping it out for points.
“In a cup game you feel as if there’s no real pressure on yourself. It’s a kind of free hit to try and get the club into the next round. In comparison to the league games, there’s no serious pressure in terms of getting back into the race for the Playoff spots so everyone plays with that bit more freedom compared to the league games really!”
Given the circumstances of our last few games against Shelbourne, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility to suggest that there is a genuine passion within the Longford Town dressing room to finally get one over on Owen Heary’s Reds.
That sentiment was confirmed by Jamie, who feels that his new side have more than enough in the arsenal to get one over on their playoff-chasing foes.
“We’re all hungry to get this game underway on the weekend especially after what happened at Tolka Park last time we played them. The game obviously didn’t go our way with some decisions going against us. It wasn’t down to the way we played or anything, we played very well that night against Shels so hopefully we can get a few early goals and get through to the quarter finals of the cup!”
And finally, the recently recruited Dublin native had this to say to about the wonderful support that the team have received since his arrival into squad back in early July.
“The supporters have been brilliant so far! The lads over at Section O have been incredible every week. They were so noisy at Tolka that time and over in Sligo away at the Showgrounds they were very noisy as well. In Galway last week they were terrific and as a group we really appreciate them. It gives us a massive lift for the games knowing that we have so many people behind making as much noise as possible!”