Cork man Colin Doyle hopes that he will be celebrating for real at Wembley today.
Republic of Ireland international Doyle will be Bradford City’s last line of defence when they face Millwall in the League One play-off final.
Doyle was at Birmingham City back in 2011 when they won the League Cup but had to watch the game from the stands at Wembley as he was cup-tied after playing in the competition while on loan at Coventry City.
Doyle joined Bradford after leaving Blackpool at the end of last season and has relished playing for manager Stuart McCall.
He said: “He’s been a breath of fresh air. The gaffer’s a legend here and the fans love him. That’s what he told us to say, anyway!
“He laughs and jokes around the training ground but he puts the serious head on as well when we need it.
“Sometimes it can be easy for managers when they’ve won to put the same team out and play the same.
“This year we’ve changed personnel and our shape loads of times, which is good.
“He’s been fantastic with the lads this week. He’s bubbly and he’s laughing and you’ve got to do that.
“It’s just another game of football. Obviously there’s a bit more at stake but it’s one you want to play in.
“I’m sure the manager himself will be buzzing to get out at Wembley just as much as the players.”
Doyle is relishing the clash with another of his old loan clubs. He said: “We will be prepared for it. We have worked hard this week and know which way we want to play. It is going to be a good game and, hopefully, we will be on the right end of the result.”
Doyle has fond memories of his three loans at Millwall and said: “Colin Lee was the manager but he got the sack after a month and Dave Tuttle took over. I played a lot of football. I was only 18 at the time, so I was enjoying playing in the Championship.
“The Millwall crowd were all right, to be honest. Sometimes you looked over and they were fighting between themselves at some stages!
“It is what it is. But when you’re out on the pitch you’re not looking to see what’s going on in the stands to see what the fans are doing.
“You try to blank everything out and concentrate on the game.”
Meanwhile, Cork’s Carrigaline United are among the eight finalists competing for the FAI’s Club Of The Year award for 2017.
Now in its 12th year, the Club of the Year award “recognises, celebrates, and promotes inspirational work” by clubs from around the country.
Founded in 1972, Carrigaline boast more than 1,000 players and 100 coaches, and field 33 teams at all age levels.
The other seven clubs in contention for the award are Boyle Celtic (Roscommon), Carrick United (Tipperary), Cahir Park (Tipperary), Peake Villa (Tipperary), Evergreen (Kilkenny), Manorhamilton Rangers (Leitrim), and Portlaoise (Laois).
The clubs will receive a cheque worth €1,500 as reward for their nomination and will go forward to the final round at the FAI Festival of Football in Kilkenny in July, when a judging panel will select an overall winner.
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