Phoenix: Doyle lands 'best job in the world'

Perseverance has paid off for Tom Doyle who put pen to paper on a two-year contract with Wellington Phoenix on Friday.

After an outstanding display against Premier League outfit West Ham United the 22-year-old looked a shoo-in for coach Ernie Merrick’s squad.

But past disappointments taught the Team Wellington and Miramar defender not to get ahead of himself, and he refused to do any interviews until the ink was dry on a contract.

“I didn’t want to jinx it because I wanted it so much,” Doyle said.

“I just wanted to keep my head down and show Ernie that I was up to the job.

“Hearing I was getting a contract was a massive relief and now I have to go for it and show the coach he has made the right decision.

“Since I was a five-year-old I’ve wanted to be a professional footballer because it is the best job in the world.”

Doyle, who began his playing career with Central United, paid tribute to the help he received from former All White Danny Hay while playing for Sacred Heart 1st XI.

“Danny got me trials in England with Crewe Alexandra and Leyton Orient but it didn’t work out and when I returned to New Zealand I missed out on selection to the team for the Under-20 World Cup,” he said.

“That was a massive setback for me. It really shattered me.

“I then had to decide where to go to university. It was a toss-up between Wellington and America.

“Opting for Wellington allowed me to play for Miramar and I was chosen for the Phoenix Football School of Excellence.”

Doyle admits he didn’t make the most of the opportunity at the time.

“Perhaps we were given too much when we went into that environment and were training with the first team every day,” he said.

“Some of the boys, notably Tyler (Boyd) and Louis (Fenton) were able to cope but I didn’t.

“I was living with seven mates in a university type lifestyle and didn’t do myself justice at the FSE.”

It was a completely different Doyle who arrived for Wellington’s pre-season after showing how he had matured by captaining Miramar and being part of the leadership group with Team Wellington.

“I was gutted when I was released from the FSE and was determined it wouldn’t happen a second time,” Doyle said.

“I now have sensible living arrangements, am eating well and preparing well.”

Doyle described his debut against English Premier League side West Ham United as an “unreal” start to what he hopes will be a  successful career.

“The hard work begins now,” he said.

“It is like going to university. Once you earn a place you have to work hard to get your degree.”