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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 18:00 GMT
Royal Doyle takes the quiet path
By John Sinnott

Kevin Doyle
Reading paid Cork City just 78,500 for Doyle
Reading's new striker Kevin Doyle sums up everything about the club's latest bid to reach the Premiership.

Unheard of when he arrived from Cork City for just under 80,000 in the summer, Doyle in his own quiet way has taken the Championship by storm.

Much like Reading - nicely tucked in three points behind leaders Sheffield United, having built up a nine-point gap over third-placed Watford.

Doyle told BBC Sport: "We just have to keep our heads down and do it quietly."

Reading have never played in the top-flight, though the Berkshire club have come mighty close in recent years, suffering their fair share of heartbreaks in the play-offs.

Last season was just as cruel as Reading lost their last three games, allowing West Ham to sneak in through the play-off backdoor and then win promotion to the Premiership.

I'd be trying to sneak in a Gaelic football game on the Sunday
Kevin Doyle

"We've done well so far," added Doyle, "but we'll only know how well at the end of the season.

"There is no point in getting carried away because the club were in a similar position last season, with their campaign dying off after Christmas.

"This time round we have a stronger squad and the players that have come in have done well.

"Hopefully we'll be able to sustain it and continue to win games. If we keep working hard hopefully we will be okay."

During the summer it was Reading's capture of Bristol City striker Leroy Lita for a 1m that grabbed the headlines.

But injuries to first Dave Kitson and then Lita has seen Doyle play more than he expected after he arrived from Ireland.

So far the Irishman has weighed in with four league goals, the same number as Kitson and one behind Lita, winning rave reviews from manager Steve Coppell.

"I was lucky that when I came here in that it was in the middle of the Irish season so I felt very fit and made a good impression immediately.

"With the injuries to Dave and Leroy the manager gave me an opportunity and left me in there.

"Steve Coppell has given me a lot of confidence. He told me not to be frightened and said that I'd have an element of surprise over opposition defenders because they wouldn't have played against me before.

"He also hasn't said too much to confuse me or wreck my head. He's just let me get on with it."

As a teenager Doyle combined playing football with gaelic football until he was forced to choose between the two sports.

"It got to the point where I was playing two games at the weekend trying to sneak in a Gaelic football game on the Sunday.

"There's a danger you can lose your touch in football as you use your hands so much in gaelic football."

Doyle started to play gaelic football seriously after he had to stop playing sport for a year as a teenager when he suffered from Osgood Slatters Disease, a knee injury.

"It was frustrating as I had been due to go on trial at Sunderland and Swindon.

"In a way its funny as the worst injuries I've had have been due to football and I've never really had any injuries playing gaelic football.

"Playing gaelic football has definitely made me stronger and helped me use my strength to shield the ball and hold people off."

As well surprising a few Championship teams, Doyle has also earned a call-up to the full Republic of Ireland squad since joining Reading.

"I knew former coach Brian Kerr had been to watch me and I had done well so I thought there was a chance," said Doyle.

"It was a great experience to train with those players, but if I get another call-up it will depend on how well I do at Reading."


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