Pundit Arena caught up with Shelbourne’s Daire Doyle recently to discuss his ambitions for the new season as well as his thoughts on the league’s newest club Cabinteely FC.
You can listen to the interview here, or alternatively read it in full below.
Dare Doyle, at the age of 34 is no stranger to pre-season regimes and he is happy with how Shels’ 2015 preparations are going so far.
“We’ve been back in pre-season training now since the middle of January, we’ve had four or five games, we’ve been happy enough with how things are going bar the Leinster Senior Cup defeat we had at the weekend, which wasn’t great to put it that way but the good thing is that it’s pre-season.
“The real stuff starts next week when we play Finn Harps at home. But looking at the squad that Kevin [Doherty] and Johnny [Martin] have put together this season, I think we have a strong squad and we should definitely be up there challenging for the league title.”
Doyle knows the importance of a good pre-season to help the squad gel early on in the year.
“It’s getting lads used to playing with each other. There’s a fair few in the team who were there last season and then there’s six or seven new players who have come in like myself.
“It’s about bedding everything together, getting used to each other, how someone plays and really it’s about getting yourself ready come the start of the season that you’re firing as much as you can.”
Questioned on Shelbourne’s ambitions for the season, the 34-year-old was unequivocal in what the Dubliners’ aspirations are.
“As a team goal we’re looking at winning the league. Shelbourne is a big club. It should be back in the Premier Division and with the players [that have been signed] this year, I feel we have a strong squad and we want to win the league. We’re not going to beat about the bush.”
It’s set to be a competitive division however, something Doyle is all too aware of.
“All the other teams have strengthened a bit so you’d be looking at even the likes of Finn Harps in the first game, will have a decent squad. You’ve got Athlone who have come down will have a strong squad [and] UCD.
“It’s going to be a testing league and it is going to be competitive but it’s upto us to start it strong and we want to maintain that and be up there throughout the season and come the end of the season we still want to be there…but it is going to be a competitive season.”
Much of the news surrounding the First Division this year has been to do with the inclusion of new side Cabinteely, something the ex-Drogheda United man welcomes.
“It’s great to see Cabinteely come into the league. I know Eddie [Gormley] is their manager this season. I worked with Eddie at Bray a few years back so listen I’m delighted and I know some other people involved with Cabinteely so it’s great to see them come into the league.
“I know their schoolboy set-up is excellent and it’s great to see somebody else come in and I just hope now that they come in and make it work. I know it can be difficult.
“You’ve had other clubs who have come in and fallen by the wayside but they do have good roots there at the club that they’ve developed over the years and I hope it does go well for them. Obviously when we play them we’ll be looking to pick up the wins but I hope it goes well for them.”
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena