Interview by Andrew Dempsey
Having announced his decision to swap playing for a role in the dugout, new Longford Town assistant manager Daire Doyle got talking with Andrew Dempsey for LTFC.ie in an in-depth interview where the Dubliner discussed his return to the City Calling Stadium, his experience in transitioning from being a player to a coach, his influence from the management at Cabinteely last season, his thoughts on the now confirmed state of play for next year’s First Division campaign, his hopes for next season and finally, Daire had a message for the LTFC supporters!
Speaking on his decision to return to the club in a coaching capacity, Daire said that it is great to be back at the City Calling Stadium.
“It's great to be back at the club. When the opportunity came up to go in as assistant manager, the timing just felt right. I have worked over the years to gain my coaching qualifications and have also wanted to go down this route when I finished playing. From playing at the club previously I know that everything is there for Longford to be playing and competing at the highest level. I have known Neale for a number of years and how he likes to operate so was delighted to be offered the role.”
Knowing that his playing career was coming to an inevitable conclusion, Doyle has said that it was always his intention to stay involved in football.
“I have been coaching at various levels over the last 8 years, from schoolboy football right up to being player coach at Cabinteely last season. But with now having finished up playing, I can now concentrate on putting my all into the role. I know I will miss playing but if not playing, coaching is the closest you can get to it. It's what I've been working towards for when I finished playing so I can't wait to get going.”
Doyle also added that the help that he received from the likes of Pat Devlin and Eddie Gormley last season at Cabinteely was a great learning curve for the former Town captain.
“It was great to gain experience at Cabinteely working with Pat, Eddie and Graham last season. Among them they have so much experience that I could take all that in and I feel that time spent with them will help me going forward.”
With last week signalling the end of uncertainty from the FAI regarding the state of play for next year’s First Division, Neale Fenn’s new right-hand man offered his thoughts on the new format in the First Division.
“I would have liked 2 up and 2 down automatically plus a playoff with 3rd from 1st Div. against 8th from the Premier although I didn't feel the FAI would go with this. I expected 1 up and 1 down with winner of 2nd and 3rd v 9th in Premier in playoff. With the new format for 1st Division with 2nd, 3rd and 4th all being in the mix for promotion it will definitely keep things interesting, so I do see that as a positive for the competitiveness of all games as the season goes on.”
Giving his prediction for next season, Doyle is hopeful that Longford Town will be in contention at the top end of the table towards the end of the season.
“As regards next season, we are looking to be right up there. We are working hard at getting things in place to do all we possibly can to ensure next season is a successful one.”
Having captained the club before, Longford Towns former midfield general spoke of his favourite memories while he represented the Red and Black!!
“Our run to the Cup Final was a highlight but ended in disappointment losing 1-0 to Cork. In what was a crazy year, with the 6-point penalty deduction we very nearly done enough to stay up only to go down by a point on the final day of the season. To be able to captain the club was also a great honour.”
And lastly, Doyle had a message for the Longford Town faithful where he said that he feels that everyone at the club can look forward to an entertaining and hopefully successful season at the City Calling Stadium!!
“I think everyone at the club can look forward to following the club next season. There are exciting times ahead and we will be looking to display a brand of football that will be great to watch and will see us compete at the top end. All the management staff will be doing all we can to put the work in on the training ground that will reap its rewards as the season goes on.”