Doyle caps extraordinary rise with NZ call-up

Just weeks after achieving his dream of becoming a professional footballer, Tom Doyle has been called into the All Whites squad for next month’s friendly against Uzbekistan.

It has been a meteoric rise for the 22-year-old who only earned a contract with the Phoenix after impressing on trial against English Premier League clubs West Ham and Newcastle United last month. 

“It has been a crazy, crazy four months,” Doyle said.

“”When I look back and think I was sitting at Uni and dreaming of playing football for a living it is hard to believe it has happened in such a short time.

“I have so much to thank Ernie Merrick for. Not only did he invite me to train with the Phoenix in pre-season, he went on to show a lot of faith in me.

“When you have someone like that in your corner it is a massive confidence booster.

“That Ernie thinks I am good enough to be one of his players makes me want to do more and more.”

Delighted at becoming a professional, Doyle could never have imagined getting into the All Whites squad so soon after and the call from new coach Anthony Hudson took his breath away.

“It was unbelievable,” Doyle says.

“Now I just want to keep kicking on and play at the highest possible level.”

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