Date:Friday January 30 2009
Reading forward Kevin Doyle has been outlined as the One to Watch ahead of this weekend`s Championship clash.
Doyle started out life at Irish outfit St Partick`s Athletic, before he promptly move to giants Cork City, where he reverted from his familiar position of right wing to a striker - a role he revelled in from the offset scoring 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 against Queens Park Rangers.
The Irish international certainly stepped up to the plate as he ended the season with 18 League goals helping to fire Reading into the Premier League. The accolades started to flood in for Doyle as he 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 again in the January transfer window. Any potential move was quashed by the signature of Emile Heskey.
Doyle is looking to fire the Royals back at the first attempt, having already scored 17 goals in 29 appearances. However his goals appear to come in spells and with only two goals in his last ten games, you would be forgiven for thinking that Doyle was having a bad time of it.
Not so as he continues to contribute in all areas of the field as the Royals have shot up to second - two points off leaders Wolves. The Irish international will be the man to stop should the R`s wish to keep a third successive clean sheet.
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Date:Friday January 30 2009
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