Pompey recruit Michael Doyle has no qualms about age

New Pompey midfielder Michael Doyle Picture: Colin Farmery
New Pompey midfielder Michael Doyle Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey were crowned league champions on this day in 1949. Picture: Pompey History Society

On this day picture gallery: Pompey crowned league champions

  • Midfielder made 57 appearances of Sheffield United last season
  • 34-year-old claims he hasn’t missed training for six years
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SUPER-FIT Michael Doyle toasted his Pompey arrival and insisted: My age is irrelevant.

The hard-working midfielder yesterday completed his long-anticipated Fratton Park move on a one-year deal.

A first-team regular at previous clubs Coventry, Leeds and Sheffield United, Doyle turns 34 next month.

That makes him the oldest member of Paul Cook’s ever-changing squad.

Not that the Irishman believes his age should be any concern when it comes to performing consistently.

He said: ‘I always look after myself – I haven’t missed a day’s training in six years.

I am glad to be here now and part of the team. Obviously the club is a draw in itself but coming and speaking to the manager and staff, I just knew we would be perfect for one another

Michael Doyle

‘Age is just a number.

‘I think a lot of people thought I was messing the club about (by not going to Portugal) but it just wasn’t like that. I came down to training and really enjoyed it, but the manager couldn’t commit anything to me at the time.

‘He was quite clear he wanted me but he just wanted to balance the squad first.

‘I understood that.

‘I am glad to be here now and part of the team. Obviously, the club is a draw in itself but coming and speaking to the manager and staff, I just knew we would be perfect for one another.

‘I am a team player. I go about my business, do my job and help everybody else along the way by doing my best for the team.

‘I am able to handle the ball and break up the play – I have worked hard on the defensive side of the game.

‘But I think with the way the manager wants to play, the onus will be on the boys in the middle to get on the ball and get the team playing, so I am looking forward to it.’

A move for the ex-Blades skipper appeared unlikely when Doyle pulled out of Pompey’s pre-season team-bonding trip to Portugal last week, with the club in no position to offer him a contract.

The subsequent departure of winger Andy Barcham, however, helped to balance the Blues’ books and allow Cook to complete his eighth summer signing.

And the midfielder, who made 57 appearances for Sheffield United last term, is delighted to finally be a Pompey player.

He added: ‘The manager rang me once the news came out that I was leaving Sheffield United.

‘He was the first person on the phone and I made my mind up quickly that I wanted to come here and told him that right away.

‘There were a few clubs from higher leagues interested but when you get in the mindset where you know where you want to go, it’s set.

‘It’s a massive opportunity for me to play for a massive club and help to get them back up through the divisions.’

The arrival of Doyle at Fratton Park brings the number of Blues central midfielders to seven, raising further questions over the futures of Johnny Ertl and James Dunne.

Also in the pool are Adam Barton, Ben Close, Nigel Atangana and Danny Hollands.