Kyle Knoyle: Profile of Doncaster Rovers' latest signing

Richie Wellens’ rebuild of his Doncaster Rovers squad has continued with the signing of right back Kyle Knoyle on a two-year deal.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 9:38 am
Kyle Knoyle in action for Cambridge United last season

Here, we take a look at the career so far of the 24-year-old.

Name: Kyle Andy Knoyle

Born: September 24, 1996, Newham, London

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

HE STARTED OUT A HAMMER

Knoyle joined the academy system at West Ham United as a 13-year-old and progressed through to a first senior contract at 18 in the summer of 2015.

He made one senior appearance for the Hammers as he started in a Europa League qualifier against Romanian side FC Astra Giurgiu, playing the full 90 minutes. And he did make the bench for West Ham in the Premier League on one occasion.

He was released in the summer of 2016.

HE WON INTERNATIONAL HONOURS

Knoyle won three caps at U18 level for England, making his debut just after turning 17.

HE HAD TIME OUT ON LOAN

Knoyle’s first real taste of senior football came in a half season loan at Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership in the 2015/16 season. He made 11 appearances for the Terrors, including in the Scottish FA Cup semi-final against Hibernian.

BUT A SPELL IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP DID NOT GO SO WELL

In the summer of 2016 he joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan in the Championship. But in his first full training session with the club, he dislocated and broke his elbow, requiring immediate surgery which sidelined him for a long period. He did manage one appearance off the bench in the Championship but injury niggles prevented him from getting into his stride with the Latics.

SWINDON WERE NEXT

Following his release by West Ham, Knoyle signed a one-year deal with Swindon Town. Though it took him until December to make his league debut for the Robins, he started all but five matches following the turn of the year, which led to Swindon activating a clause in his contract to remain at the club for another year.

He was the first choice right back the following season, something that continued after Richie Wellens took charge in November 2018. Despite being offered the chance to remain at the County Ground, he rejected a new deal in the summer of 2019.

SWITCH TO CAMBRIDGE - AND GLORY

After turning down the chance to stay with Swindon, Knoyle remained in League Two by signing with Cambridge United on a two-year deal. He was a regular starter in his first season, which was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was an ever present in the league last season, scoring two goals and providing five assists as Cambridge won promotion to League One. He was named in the PFA League Two team of the year.

WHAT THEY SAID

Former Swindon boss David Flitcroft: “He’s a very athletic full-back, a very dynamic full-back.”

Former West Ham academy manager Terry Westley: “He rolled his sleeves up and said he’d show people what he can do. With that type of career, he’ll go a long way. He has shown the character of what you’re looking for in a young player.”

Rovers boss Richie Wellens: “Kyle’s a good pro and an extremely reliable performer. He’s a fantastic athlete and will get up and down the pitch well. He’s defensively very good and he’s improving at a really good rate.”

*

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.