One to Watch - Kevin Doyle
Name: Kevin Doyle
Date of Birth: 18/9/1983
Nationality: Republic of Ireland
Former Clubs: St Patrick`s Athletic, Cork City, Reading
League Appearances (Goals): 305 (15)
International Appearances (Goals): 43 (9)
Stat of the Day: All of Kevin Doyle`s 34 Premier League goals have been scored inside the opposition`s box - 7 with his left foot, 13 with his right foot, and 14 with his head.
Kevin Doyle was lucky enough to be one of the 178 players linked with QPR over the summer. 'It might be tough to get Doyle,' said an Rs insider, 'but he would be just the player needed if the club is promoted', read the article. Apart from the fact that we never going to sign Doyle, one thing rings true in that statement - he is the type of player QPR need in their push for survival. A player right up Warnock`s street - a prolific goalscorer, coupled with an honest work-rate and courage that would fit snuggly into the QPR way of playing.
Having primarily been employed as a lone striker during his time at Molineux, Doyle epitomises everything about Wolves and their lung-busting work ethic. Goals have maybe come hard to find the past couple of seasons for Doyle, but his ability to win headers (only three players have scored more headed Premier League goals than Doyle over the past five seasons) and score goals at crucial times makes him a much sought after striker. So much so, it was reported Arsene Wenger was considering making a move for the Irish international. QPR have much to look forward to after their impressive performance on Monday, but for all their attacking intent they must not forget their defensive duties as Doyle will be the one to punish any reckless or naïve defending.
Doyle signed for his first professional club, St Patrick's Athletic, in September 2001. He initially started out in the Under 18`s side, but had made his first team debut within months of signing his first contract. He had made 10 appearances at the Dublin based side, before following manager Pat Dolan to Cork City in 2003.
Doyle started out playing on the right wing for the Irish side, before reverting to his natural position of striker. He managed 25 goals in his two years at Cork, including two goals in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup. His impressive form for City saw clubs from England start to sniff around and he inevitably made the move across, signing for Reading on 7 June 2005 on a two year deal for what turned out to be a bargain £78 000.
He was initially signed as back up, but an injury to Dave Kitson saw Doyle get his chance which he gladly took scoring 19 goals in his first full season at The Madjeski, including the equalising goal at Leicester City on the day The Royals were promoted to the Premier League. He rounded off a successful season by being named as Reading`s Player of the Season, the Championship Fans` Player of the Year and making the PFA Championship Team of the Year.
Question marks were raised as to whether Doyle could reproduce his impressive goalscoring form in the Premier League but managed to quickly silence the doubters as he managed 13 league goals in his first season in the top flight. Reading were relegated in the 2007/2008 season and once again Doyle ripped the Championship apart the following season, managing 18 league goals. The Royals were unable to hold onto the Irish striker as he joined newly promoted Wolves on 30 June 2009, having scored 55 league goals in 155 appearances for Reading, signing a four year contract at Molineux for a reported club fee of £6.5 million.
Doyle`s first Wolves goal came in a 2-1 win over Fulham, where he went on to score 9 goals in his debut season at Molineux, leading the club to a 15th placed finish in their first season in the Premier League. The 27 year old has managed to hold down a regular starting spot in Mick McCarthy`s side and his experience, quality and goal scoring prowess will pose a huge threat to QPR on Saturday.