Doyle: We’ll go from classmates to derby rivals

Michael Doyle has been sharing an office with three St Mirren players as part of a PFA Scotland-organised IT skills course – and says he is intent on earning classroom bragging rights in Saturday’s Renfrewshire derby.

Ton team-mates Doyle, Bob McHugh and Gary Harkins have been attending the programme alongside a group of fellow footballers that includes Saints trio Stelios Demetriou, Adam Eckersley, and Gary Irvine.

Doyle admits there has been banter in the build up to this weekend’s big match at Paisley 2021 Stadium, but expects that to crank up a few notches when they reconvene after the dust has settled next Wednesday.

The 26-year-old told “We’ve started an IT course through PFA Scotland, and it provides a qualification that’s good for your CV and your future after football.

“It’s a 10-week course, which we’re one month into and runs up to just before Christmas, and that’s held at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

“There are a couple of boys from Morton – Gary Harkins, Bob McHugh, and myself – a couple of boys from St Mirren – Stelios, Adam Eckersley, and Gary Irvine.

“We’re friends in the classroom – but when it comes to Saturday, it’s all about the football. Obviously we’ve been having a bit of banter with the derby this weekend.

“But I think next week, depending on how the result goes, will be the interesting one to see if any of us turn up or any of them turn up.

“If you’re getting beaten in the derby, you’re not going to be wanting to be going in and seeing the boys the next Wednesday, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Doyle is now in his second season at Cappielow, and he says he has a full handle on how important a derby victory is to either side after appearing in four county clashes.

He added: “In your first season you maybe don’t fully realise how important it is. You don’t get that until you actually play in it.

“To our fans its the equivalent of an Old Firm, and to the players it’s a big match. St Mirren is the one you want to win. The boys are up for it.

“If you look at the season, it’s obviously a big game. They are top of the league at the moment and you want to beat teams who are in that position and show you can compete up there.

“Yeah, we beat them 4-1 last time, but you can’t say because you did that, it means we’re going to beat them again. Results last season show that. It’s all about who turns up on the day.”

Michael was speaking at PFA Scotland’s IT Skills Course, based at St Mirren’s Paisley 2021 Stadium, which is run with the help of funding from Scottish Union Learning and education provider City of Glasgow College.


Image courtesy of Michelle Evans (PFA Scotland)