Football

Kevin Doyle Heaps Praise On His Old Ireland Roommate

Kevin Doyle Heaps Praise On His Old Ireland Roommate

Given our recent history with them, it seems every Irish player has their own Georgia story.

In 2008, Kevin Doyle scored Ireland's opening goal in a 2-1 win over the Georgians. It was a noteworthy game for a number of reasons. Firstly because it wasn't actually played in Georgia but instead took place in Mainz, Germany. It also was the match in which Glenn Whelan scored his first goal for Ireland.

11 years later and at the tender age of 35, Whelan looks likely to feature against Georgia on Saturday for what must now surely be the 400th time in his career.

Speaking to Balls.ie on The Buildup podcast, Whelan's old international roommate, Doyle, was full of admiration for what the Hearts player has achieved.

"I get onto him that he's never ran fast enough to wear himself out," he joked before getting serious.

He's been regarded as a really good midfielder, then he went through a bad period where people were giving him stick and he's stuck at it. He's keeps turning up and he's playing really well. He has played really well in this group so far.

He has been a steadying hand there and added some experience.

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Whelan's international career looked to be over in the dying days of Martin O'Neill's reign but the arrival of Mick McCarthy saw him get another chance: "As he said himself he never did retire, he was retired by the previous management."

He's someone who plays better as he gets older and, not making a joke of it, but he's never had great pace to lose so he can play for a good few more years. He doesn't get injured, he just plays week after week and is a really good, calming influence.

Doyle also noted how Whelan's impact in the Irish camp can also be felt away from the pitch. "He's great around the place as well, outside of football for younger and older players."

"I have great respect for Glenn and to still be doing it now and not looking any worse for wears is a fantastic acheivement. "

Aside from Whelan, Doyle spoke at length on the show about the fact that he's wary of this Saturday's tricky tie and why he thinks McCarthy has made a mistake by not bringing Shane Long.

You can listen to the full podcast - which also includes Stephen Ferris' preview of Ireland v Samoa - here or by searching The Buildup on Balls.ie on all good podcast apps.

See Also: Kevin Doyle's Prediction For Georgia vs Ireland, Ferris On Big RWC Weekend

Mark Farrelly
Article written by
Balls Media Audience Development Manager. Former Miss World 1997 contestant.

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