While he never played for Cork City, Birmingham City goalkeeper Colin Doyle is a native of Leeside, and tonight’s Cork Airport Friendly between the two Citys at Turner’s Cross (6.45pm) is a chance to catch up with friends and family in Douglas.
“I’ve had a few texts already,” he said. “It’s nice to come home and see my family, my mum and dad and brothers and all my friends and all the old faces.
“It’s great to be back, it’s just down the road. The facilities here are great and we’re hoping to get a lot done.”
Birmingham barely avoided relegation from the Football League Championship last season, with Paul Caddis’s injury-time goal in the final game against Bolton saving them.
Doyle admits it was not the most enjoyable of seasons at St Andrew’s.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “We had a good start to the season but then we had a few loan players who went back in January, our two centre-halves went back and our striker went back.
“It was difficult and we never really replaced them. We kept losing our home games and when that happens, you’re always going to be in trouble.
“Thank God, ‘Caddie’ produced in the 93rd minute of the season and we got to stay up.”
Now, the hope is that they can push on from that let-off, with manager Lee Clark having undertaken extensive surgery of the squad.
“We are looking forward to it,” Doyle said. “We’ve had a big overhaul of players, a lot of out-of-contract guys have left and nine or 10 guys have come in. We’re getting to know them early and hopefully we can push on.”
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