Eoin Doyle’s time with Swindon Town has come to an end after he was recalled from a loan spell by his parent club, Bradford City.
The Irish centre-forward scored an incredible 23 goals in 22 games for Swindon in the first half of the League Two season. He is currently the top scorer in England and Europe and he equalled Jamie Vardy’s record of scoring in 11 consecutive league games.
Doyle leaves Swindon top of the table in England’s fourth-tier and returns to his parent club Bradford, who are currently in fourth place, six points behind the league leaders with a game in hand.
The 31-year-old Dubliner scored has scored half of Swindon’s 46 goals in League Two this season and the club were understandably disappointed to lose him. They paid tribute to Doyle on Twitter when the news was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
“Don’t be sad because it’s over, let’s just be happy that it happened,” they told fans in a tweet, before releasing a statement on his departure.
“Doyle has captured the hearts of the Town faithful, being nicknamed ‘The Ginger Pele’, and the club would like to thank Eoin, of course, for his exploits on the pitch but also his professionalism and care around the County Ground. We would like to wish him all the best wherever his future lies.”
Doyle was named League Two Player of the Month for October and November and has been nominated for December’s award.
2⃣3⃣ goals in 2⃣2⃣ games
Top goalscorer in England. Top goalscorer in Europe.
Don't be sad because it's over, let's just be happy that it happened.
— Swindon Town FC (@Official_STFC) January 8, 2020
Doyle’s loan spell move was originally meant to last until the end of the season, but Bradford have exercised an option to get the player back after his stunning form helped their rivals to the top of the table. He said last month that his preference was to remain with Swindon until the season of the season and that he would be “disappointed” to return to his parent club in January.
“I’d be disappointed if I did have to go back,” Doyle said.
“I don’t think I suit them [Bradford], they don’t suit me, and this is where I want to be. It’s a season-long loan, it was made clear to me at the start of the season.
“I want to be here. I’m not being nasty or anything – I hope Bradford go up as well. I just hope I’m doing it with Swindon and they’re doing it off their own back.”
However, he seemingly could do little to prevent Bradford recalling him. The Bantams manager Gary Bowyer said it will be “like a new signing” to have Doyle back in his squad.
“It is great to have Eoin back in the squad,” he said.
“To say he is bang in form would be an understatement and it is up to us to keep producing chances for him. He is a model professional, who looks after himself well. We look forward to seeing him scoring goals for us.
“He will be like a new signing and will fill the rest of lads with a lot of confidence.”
The former Sligo Rovers striker joined Bradford from Preston North End in August 2018 and scored 11 goals in 48 games for the Bantams last season.
Doyle has also played for Cardiff City, Portsmouth, Oldham Athletic, Hibernian, Chesterfield, Cardiff City and Shamrock Rovers during his career.