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Woking appoint ex-Coventry, Leeds, Sheff Utd, Portsmouth, Notts player as new manager

Woking appoint ex-Coventry, Leeds, Sheff Utd, Portsmouth, Coventry, Notts County player Michael Doyle as their new first team manager.

The 42 year old comes into the club as the permanent replacement to Darren Sarll, who was sacked in mid-November after a tough return of six points from a possible 27.

Assistant manager Ian Dyer was placed in temporary charge, losing four and winning on Saturday, leaving the club 17th in the National League table, with 25 points from 23 games played.


Woking Football Club can today confirm the appointment of Michael Doyle as First Team Manager.

Doyle has signed a contract until the end of the 2024/25 season and will take his first training session with the team on Monday.

“After an exhaustive manager search which included interviewing numerous candidates with impressive CVs, Michael Doyle was the unanimous choice of our selection committee,” said Woking Chief Executive John Katz. “Michael Doyle is a serial winner and will bring that enthusiasm with him to the changing room and the dugout.

“We had the option to be safe or to be bold, and we took the decision to be bold with this appointment. Michael is a young, ambitious, and dynamic manager, and our decision to be bold represents what this Club needs to regain – ambition and dynamism. We believe in his track record of success in the Football League, how he wants his Woking team to play, and his plan to move the club forward.

“Throughout the interview process, Michael’s alignment with the Club’s core values of hard work, humility, and class were evident. His commitment to expanding the team’s presence in our community by playing exciting football on the pitch and building community off the pitch fits the Club’s ethos,” added Katz

Doyle amassed 866 professional first team appearances during his playing career and holds the record for the fourth-highest appearances in English football history. Across numerous clubs and leagues, the Irishman accumulated 15-years of captaincy.

He has been capped at senior level for the Republic of Ireland, representing his country against the Netherlands.

Doyle featured for some of British football’s biggest clubs during his playing career, coming through the ranks at Celtic under Martin O’Neill, captaining in the Championship for Coventry City and making 265 league appearances, winning promotion with Leeds United, leading Sheffield United in 188 league appearances, and captaining Portsmouth and Notts County.

In eight of his final ten seasons as a player, Doyle captained his sides to either the play-offs or promotion.

Doyle was Assistant Head Coach in the National League with Notts County and was central to the shift in ethos and mentality at the Club alongside Ian Burchnall, leading the Magpies to the Play-offs where they were narrowly eliminated by a late goal from Grimsby. The success at Notts County led to a move to Forest Green Rovers in League One; the Magpies earned promotion the next season following their contributions.

His excellence in developing and improving players within elite professional football earned him the role of Professional Development Coach at Portsmouth in June.

Doyle was in attendance at the Meadowbank on Saturday for our 1-2 victory away to Dorking.

“I was glad to be at the game yesterday,” said Doyle. “It was an important result first and foremost after the loss midweek. There’s plenty to build on now going into next week and through the remainder of the season.

“Woking is a great Club with a rich history. I’m looking forward to working Ian and the backroom staff, with the players and the people behind the scenes.

“I’m also really excited to grow the Club in the community and help strengthen and grow our bonds with organisations in and around Woking,” added Doyle.

Caretaker Manager Ian Dyer will resume his duties as Assistant Manager under Doyle, with Goalkeeper Coach Marlon Beresford and Player/Coach Scott Cuthbert also continuing in their roles. Ben Turner will complete Doyle’s staff, joining as a First Team Coach.

Sponsorship opportunities are available and enquiries are welcomed to nick.bavin@wokingfc.co.uk.

There was plenty of reaction as Woking appoint ex-Coventry, Leeds, Sheff Utd, Portsmouth, Notts County player as their new manager…

@BigTom0491: Great appointment! He’ll forever be loved at Notts County! Wish you all the very best

@DanKnight10: A real leader of men…… no doubt he’ll succeed

@MaxFaithfull18: An incredible leader at Pompey a few years back, best of luck Michael, should do a brilliant job

@BENJR2015: Welcome Michael! 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️

@HancockAnalysis: All the best Doyler, smash it 💙

@surreypomp: What a captain. What a fighter. Hope he does you good

@kieronraynes14: Welcome Michael 🇮🇪 The start of a new era COYC 🔴⚪️

@gemmaraggett: Great appointment for Woking. Good luck Michael 👍🏻 just not against Aldershot 🤣🤣

@Harryduke123: A very good appointment I think, never managed before, but a winner, something that we need. Welcome aboard Michael! 🫡

@Aaron25650310: All the best Doyle 💙 #PUP

@Seabourn19: As a @Coventry_City fan living in Woking this is great news! Won’t find a better professional than Doyler. He’ll replace Mark Robins in 2050! #PUSB #COYC

@MaxFaithfull18: An incredible leader at Pompey a few years back, best of luck Michael, should do a brilliant job

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