Pompey skipper lays down future plans

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Doyle has set his sights on playing on for years.

And the Pompey skipper is hoping he can do that at Fratton Park.

Doyle has lifted the lid on his ambitions to make sure his retirement from the game is a long way in the distance.

The 35-year-old has no intentions of winding things down at a stage when many of his peers begin looking to the future.

The Irishman believes his conditioning reinforces the point he still has plenty to offer.

Doyle has made 574 appearance in a long and successful career.

And he sees no reason why he won’t significantly add to that number.

Doyle said: ‘I’ve never worried about myself individually.

‘I’m still at the top of all the running. I still look after myself.

‘I think age is a number. I do everything right. I live the right way and I don’t really drink and things like that.

‘Sports science has been great for people like myself.

‘You get to extend your career and embrace all these things.

‘You can play on for two or three years longer.

‘I’m taking it a season at a time.

‘I’m not saying I don’t feel 35 because I am – but I feel good.

‘I don’t feel like I’m getting close to retirement. I don’t feel that.

‘Don’t get me wrong, it’s in my head and you think about what you are going to do.

‘But, with regards to how I feel, I feel good.

‘You get to my age and you start getting asked these questions. That’s what happens.

‘It’s one of those things. It’s part of football.

‘But I want to play for as long as I can and enjoy it.’

Doyle was a virtual ever-present last season, with the trip to Bristol Rovers and final-day meeting with Northampton the only league games he didn’t feature in.

That has seen him clock up 63 Pompey appearances to date.

Doyle signed an initial year’s deal before extending that agreement to next summer in January.

He is relaxed about his future but he underlined his ambition to be part of a journey of success with Pompey.

Doyle said: ‘I’m enjoying it and liking it. I love playing for the club.

‘These things (contracts) look after themselves.

‘If I carry on with the football it all looks after itself.

‘That’s the most important thing – to get the club back on their way again.

‘I came here to help the club back up the divisions.

‘I didn’t come here just to play for Portsmouth.

‘I came here because there was a plan in place to get promoted.

‘I want to be a part of that and I am enjoying it.

‘Hopefully we can do it this year. There was disappointment last season with the play-offs. They stay with you.’