Doncaster Rovers: Loanee Andy Boyle looks to get back on track

Tom Anderson and Andy Boyle
Tom Anderson and Andy Boyle

Less than two years ago he was making history on the European stage and now Andy Boyle is looking to reignite his career with Doncaster Rovers.

Boyle was part of the unlikely success story of the 2016/17 Europa League campaign, reaching the group stages with League of Ireland champions Dundalk after becoming the first Irish side to reach the Champions League play-offs round.

It earned the centre half a move to Preston North End last January where he managed seven games in the second half of the season and earned his first international cap for the Republic of Ireland.

But since Simon Grayson left Deepdale for Sunderland in the summer, Boyle has found his opportunities limited – frustratingly so.

“It has been [frustrating],” he told the Free Press.

“Up to the end of last season, I’d played a few games and made my debut for my country.

“It’s the ups and downs of football really.

“A new manager came in and I’ve not really played as much as I’d have liked.

“As a footballer you just want to play as many games as possible.

“It changes quickly in this game.

“I’ve gone from the success in Europe with Dundalk, getting the move to Preston, playing games and making my debut for my country to not playing as much.

“It’s frustrating but that’s the life of a footballer.”

Boyle won three League of Ireland titles with Dundalk before making the switch to Lancashire.

And he says it will take some time for significance of the history-making achievements to fully register with him.

“It was a great time in my career,” he said.

“It probably hasn’t settled in what happened but when I look back at the end of my career and realise what we did, it was a special time and special achievement.”

After struggling for appearances over the last year, his one and only goal for his loan spell with Rovers is game time.

And if he can help Rovers climb the League One table in the process, then all the better.

“I’m glad to be here and hopefully push us up the table as far as possible and get as many points on the board as we can,” he said.

“At the start of the week I came in and trained with the lads.

“I’ve really enjoyed it, they’re a great bunch, really welcoming.

“The manager and all the staff have been brilliant with me.

“I’m just looking forward to getting as many games as possible.”