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Michael
Doyle

Manager

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Michael was named Woking manager in December 2023, replacing the outgoing Darren Sarll, becoming the 13th permanent Cards boss of the 21st century. The start of his time at the Laithwaite Community Stadium marks his first step into men's senior football management, following coaching roles at Notts County, Forest Green Rovers, and Portsmouth, where he was a part of the club's academy setup.

Despite his relative lack of managerial experience, he brings with him to Woking a hugely impressive footballing CV from his playing career, which saw him play for five clubs across four different divisions, wracking up three promotions and over 800 career appearances. In fact, nine of his final thirteen seasons as a player saw the club he was representing finish in the play-off positions, or higher, in their respective division.

A midfielder by trade, he began his senior career with Celtic - and was at the club at the same time as Woking defender and coach Scott Cuthbert - but his professional debut actually came in Denmark, during a loan spell with Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF). From Celtic, he joined Championship club Coventry City, where he quickly established himself as a key player, making 47 appearances in his first season, as well as a further 250 across a seven-year spell with the Sky Blues. He played under managers such as Gary McAllister, Peter Reid, Micky Adams, and Iain Dowie, who made him captain in 2006. He was also part of the team which secured a famous 2-0 upset win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in the League Cup in 2007, assisting the opening goal.

After finding his gametime limited under new manager Chris Coleman in 2009, he joined then League One side Leeds United on a season-long loan, helping them secure promotion back to the second tier as runners-up the following year. After a brief return to Coventry, he joined fellow Championship club Sheffield United, but could not prevent the Blades' relegation to League One. However, he made 231 appearances for the Bramall Lane club over a four-and-a-half year spell, helping them to finishes of third, fifth, seventh, and third - losing out in the play-offs on three occasions.

In 2015 he dropped into the fourth tier with Portsmouth, where he missed just two league matches across his two seasons, the second of which ended in the division title. After winning promotion with Pompey, he returned to Coventry, who had themselves fallen through the leagues to League Two. He won promotion for a second season in a row, this time via the play-offs, before helping them comfortably survive the drop on their return to League One - narrowly missing out on the play-offs.

Midway through the 2018/19 campaign he moved to Notts County, but again arrived too late to help them avoid relegation to the National League, where they would remain for his final two seasons as a player. He finished his time with Notts with 91 appearances in all competitions, along with the experience of two further play-off campaigns, before joining Ian Burchnall's coaching staff as Assistant Manager.

He would follow Burchnall to Forest Green Rovers in the summer of 2022, but only remained with the League One club for six months, prior to the manager's departure. The following summer he re-joined Portsmouth, working as a part of their academy setup, before taking the Woking job at the end of the year.

Doyle was capped once by the Republic of Ireland in 2004 - coming on as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Netherlands.

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