One to Watch - Kevin Doyle
Vital QPR`s Nik believes that Irish international striker Kevin Doyle will be Reading`s one to watch at the Madjeski Stadium on Saturday.
Having started his career at St Patrick`s Athletic, Doyle moved across Ireland to join Cork City. The forward enjoyed a successful time at Cork, reverting his position from right winger to striker. He had a very successful 2004-05 season, in which the striker found the net 17 times in just 15 games.
It was this successful season that alerted Reading to Doyle`s ability. They signed him up in June 2005, for a fee believed to be less than £100,000. Originally signed as a back-up striker, Doyle found himself thrown into the 'deep end` of the Championship sooner than expected after Dave Kitson suffered an injury.
The Irish international certainly stepped up to the plate, as he ended the season with 18 League goals, helping to fire Reading into the Premiership. Doyle`s form during Reading`s promotion season had in fact been so good, that various accolades were won. Doyle was named Reading FC player of the season, Championship Fans` player of the year, and was also named in the Championship team of the year by the PFA.
In the 2006-07 season, the 'Royals` adapted to life extremely well in the Premiership, eventually finishing 8th. Doyle once again played a key part in another successful season for Reading, grabbing 13 goals, including one after just 16 seconds at Sheffield United.
If Premiership success wasn`t enough for the striker, more glory was set to come his way, as he scored his first goal for Ireland against San Marino in November 2006. In early 2007, Doyle was named as the FAI young player of 2006.
The 2007-08 season proved to be less successful for both Doyle and Reading. Only six league goals were scored by the striker, as Reading were relegated on goal difference.
Despite his disappointing season, Doyle was heavily linked with a move to Aston Villa in the summer, and is still rumoured to be off to Villa Park in the January transfer window. However he has stayed put for now and Reading are most certainly reaping the benefits.
Doyle has started this season excellently, and has already scored nine League goals this season, more than anybody else. Reading currently find themselves 3rd in the League, and have already started to make the Madjeski Stadium a fortress, having won all six home games so far, scoring a mammoth 21 goals in the process.
Saturday`s fixture will arguably be the toughest test that Iain Dowie has faced as QPR manager so far, and there is no doubting that Doyle will be chomping at the bit to carry on his brilliant form. Damion Stewart and Fitz Hall will certainly have their work cut out come 5:20PM on Saturday.
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