Longford Town Manager Daire Doyle is keen for his players to prove the experts wrong during this season's SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
When Daire Doyle started his coaching career in late 2016 he was highly ambitious. He put everything into it in a hope it would lead him somewhere.
Following stints at Cabinteely and assistant manager at Longford Town, he took over the reins as manager at the end of 2019 and guided Town to the Premier Division last season.
The Dubliner can’t wait for the season to start. “It’s brilliant. And it's the same as a player, you want to test yourself at the highest level. I’m going to be up against the best the country has to offer at the top level.
Once I finished playing I wanted to put everything into coaching and see where it could lead me. The aim at the start of last year was to get our club into the Premier and we managed to do that.”
Doyle is putting the final preparations together ahead of their first league game against Derry on Saturday evening.
Town have played a number of pre-season friendlies and although results haven’t gone their way, for Doyle it’s about getting his team right for their league campaign.
“That's exactly it. And you don't mind how we get on. I wouldn't go on our pre-season. We don't want to pick up any injuries; we've had one or two and will monitor them. We’ll be positive and prepared for games.”
The Town manager has been busy putting a squad together that he thinks will perform well in the Premier and consolidate Town’s position in the division for 2022.
He said, “I’m really happy with the players. They will really make the impact and contribute in certain areas. So we're really happy with them. We managed to get Aaron O’Driscoll in too and that was great.”
Town have always lived within their means no matter what division they were playing in. Doyle is well aware that clubs splurging out on players could prove very costly. He is happy with the budget the club afforded him.
“It’s all thanks to the board and the people in the background and we have to make sure that it runs correctly. Looking at certain teams putting in too much that you can't afford. You have seen problems in the past and that have caused issues in clubs. It is really important that we stay up and I feel I put a really really good squad together.”
If predictions are anything to go by Town are hot favourites to make a swift return to the First Division. The Town boss is hoping that his side can prove all the doubters wrong.
“We've been completely written off and favourites to go down. We will use that to our advantage. There's no better time for us to show people what we are able to do and what we can do.
I think it's a squad that will stand us in good stead. There's a lot of characters and it's a really strong and close group, which is another very important thing. We have a positive group.” said Doyle.
Although he won’t have a large home crowd to cheer him on, Doyle is delighted the first league game is at Bishopsgate.
He is looking forward to when supporters can come back to games. “I can't wait for the game. We're able to bring them to our home place.
And it's really unfortunate, we can't have the crowds but hopefully in a couple months we will have them back. There's no better feeling than having a big crowd come along to watch us play games at the top level in this country. And that's what really excites us.”