The Inside Scoop with … Michael Doyle

In a new weekly website feature, a Morton player will give an insight into his career and the inside scoop on his Ton team-mates by answering a series of questions posed by media officer Jonathan Mitchell.

Name: James Michael Doyle

Nickname: ‘Doyley’ with the boys at Morton. Mikey Doyle has obviously been used a couple of times. Some of the boys I’ve played with have called me ‘James’ just because it annoys them that I don’t use my first name a lot. I’m sure the Mrs has a couple of nicknames for me but I don’t think I’m allowed to swear.

Time at the club: This is my second year at Morton.

Targets for the season: Trying to be better than we were the season before I think. Two seasons ago Morton finished fifth; last season fourth and in the play-offs, so I’d say our target is to at least be in the play-offs again. If you’re talking from a personal point of view, I’m a firm believer in ‘[If] You don’t lose goals, you don’t lose games’, so if I can help with that then that’s me done my job. Also, maybe crossing the ball into the box and not across the road would be a big bonus for me!

Greatest achievement in football: Even to become a football player at any time in your life can be a great achievement, especially when you’re a lad from Drumchapel and it’s something you’ve always dreamed of. I’d probably say my first three seasons at Alloa were very successful. We went from the Third Division, winning the league and winning the play-offs the following year to not only being in the Championship but surviving relegation with Hibs, Hearts and Rangers in our league. For a part-time team that’s massive. We also came back from 2-0 down against Rangers in a semi-final to win 3-2 so that was nice! If you’d have asked me a couple of weeks ago, my answer would have been playing for St Johnstone the last time Celtic lost a domestic game and cleared one off the line the last couple of seconds. In case anyone didn’t know.

Best ground you’ve played at: I’ve been about for a while now and if I think about it, I’ve played at almost every ground in Scotland. Ibrox and Celtic Park are obviously going to be the best, but I was a youth player when I played at Parkhead and there were like five people watching so I’d probably say Ibrox, because playing in front of 45,000 fans is an unbelievable experience.

Favourite band/musician: I do like the old-school stuff and I’m not talking GBX tunes, even though I do play a lot of it in my home after a game. I grew up with my mum listening to a lot of the Temptations and bands like that so that kind of stuck on me. I have been to see the band The Script four times so I would have to go with them. If you are asking me who the music man in the changing room is it’s got to be Forbesy. Every song that comes on, he knows the words. I actually thinks he goes home and listens to ‘Castles in the Sky’ on repeat.

Favourite food: Tidser cooks a couple of the boys’ lunches every day for training, so if I don’t  give him a mention he’ll probably end up poisoning me. Me and the Mrs do go out on a lot of date nights and try new places but I’ve got to say my mum’s home cooking is still my favourite.

Choose any three people to go on a night out with and why: I’m just going stick with the boys in the team here. 1) Gary Oliver. It’s no secret that me and Gaz are good mates plus I’d have a lift home at the end of night. 2) Lee Kilday. He’s got a part-time job as a bouncer in Distrikt night club in Glasgow so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting in. 3) Andy Murdoch/Mark Russell. These two are a bit of a double act. At the end of last season the three of us ended up on a bit of sub crawl which ended with us saving the day at a random hen do by agreeing to be the strippers for the bride-to-be.

Choose a team-mate to swap lives with for a day: I would probably say Gaz Oliver. Every morning he gets in the car telling me about how his mum’s had his breakfast and that all made for him. His dad also lets him drive about in his Merc and tell people it’s his, so that would good to have.

Fastest team-mate: I would say there’s a couple of boys in our team who are quick. One that would scream out to most people would be Jai Quitongo, who over 10 to 20 yards can be scary quick. Anything over that, like a box-to-box run, I would say I’m the quickest, but there’s also wee Tiff, who can run by people as if they’re not there, and big Lamie. When he starts running, it’s like trying to stop a train.

Slowest team-mate: I wouldn’t say there’s anybody in our team who is ‘slow’. If you’re asking me who I would like to see in a race then Tam O’Ware and Forbesy would be up there. Again not because I think they’re slow – nobody ever runs away from Tam and if Forbesy gets you one-on-one out on the wing is very hard to stop – I just think it would be a good laugh to watch.

Most skilful team-mate: There’s no shying away from the fact that Forbesy has a left foot like a magic wand. Wee Gaz can make you fall over your own feet with how fast his stepovers are – but for all round skill I would have to say Jeebsy [Gary Harkins]. Some of the things he pulls off in training are ridiculous. Also a special mention to Robert McHugh, who me and Jeebsy have nicknamed ‘Finish Bob’ as his finishing is that good that that’s all we ever seem to say to him.

Best dressed team-mate: A couple of the boys, like Gaz and Forbesy, love their big labels, as we call them. Wee Gaz even brings in his receipts with him to prove they’re real, but I would have to say Lamie is head and shoulders above the rest. The big man walks in every morning as if he’s just fallen out the page of a fashion catalogue.

Worst dressed team-mate: There are a couple fighting for this prize I think. My own name would be up there as most mornings I look as though I’ve just rolled out of bed. There’s big Gats who loves a pair of ‘dad jeans’ and shoes combo. I think Lee Kilday has a sponsorship with the Bee Inspired brand (grey ones are his favourite). Then there’s wee Murdo who looks like the only thing missing most mornings is his skateboard.

Team hardman: We all know Jeebsy is a tough tackler and it can be like getting hit by a wall most of the time you go in for a challenge with Lamie. Wee Strappy also loves a tackle, but at Morton I would have to say the gaffer probably takes this crown. We have a very good, hardworking squad and the gaffer’s never really had to lose it before, but I think if he ever did none of us would stand a chance.

Best trainer: I’m probably the busiest trainer and if it’s running without the ball then my name would probably be first. I would have to say Michael Tidser, though. I’ve played with Tids since I was 14 and he’s never changed, especially in training. He works like mad on and off the ball, and if you playing wee games then you want him in your team.

Worst trainer: I wouldn’t say anyone is the worst trainer. We obviously all have our good days and bad in training but we always work hard.

Best dancer: DANCE OFF! This would be between big Thommo [Robert Thomson] and Tam O’Ware. They love to throw some crazy shapes on a night out. Another mention for Mr McHugh in this category; he is the only guy I know to have perfected the twerk.

Biggest Joker: It’s no secret that I’ve got a couple of screws loose upstairs and am always doing something mad. But wee Gaz is a bit like ‘the boy who cried wolf’ in the changing room. He’s always up to something devious. So much so that, even when it’s not him, he gets the blame anyway. It wouldn’t be a good idea to leave your stuff lying about when Murdo and Marky are about ether.

Most intelligent: I would say couple of the boys are quite smart depending on the subject. Big Thommo is at uni, so on paper he would be the smartest. I’m more of a Mr fix-it. But there’s also Forbesy who is a very keen gardener, and there are a couple of the younger boys like Jai, Gaz, and Tiff who are ‘Instagram-smart’. Show them a picture and they will tell you who it is, where they live, and what they had for dinner last Tuesday.

Least intelligent: Every day is a school day for wee Gaz when he drives in with me every morning as I’m always giving him useless facts. As much as I would love to see a Tam and Forbesy race, I think I would enjoy a Gaz versus Jai quiz-off. But as I mentioned earlier they do have skill in other departments.

Biggest moaner: Forbesy is up there, but I don’t think I can get away from this title. I wouldn’t say I’m a ‘moaner’, I would say I’m more argumentative. It has been known for me to be sent for an early shower during training.

Tightest: I wouldn’t say anybody is really tight in the squad, but Jai did owe me £40 for the flight to Belfast for our Christmas night out and only transferred me £39!


Next week’s Inside Scoop sees Michael Tidser take the hotseat.


Image: David Bell