Flying start Loan star makes mark on his new home
JAKE Doyle-hayes made his first appearance for Cheltenham Town in Saturday’s 4-1 home victory over Scunthorpe United.
The 20-year-old was named man of the match for his performance in the centre of midfield.
Here the Ireland Under-19 international discusses his loan move from Aston Villa and which player he looks up to most at his parent club.
» As debuts go, a 4-1 home win wasn’t a bad way to start.
Yes, definitely. My first game for Cheltenham went really well and we went 1-0 down, but I felt we were still on top and I never thought we were going to lose the game.
All the lads were unbelievable in the game and it went well.
» How pleased were you with your own performance in midfield?
I like to get on the ball all the time and it was good that the lads trusted me in my first game, giving me the ball all the time.
It wasn’t just about how I played, it was the team performance and the win that was the main thing really.
» Michael Duff was interested in signing you last January, were you aware of that interest from Cheltenham?
Yes. When I went to Cambridge United, Cheltenham were in a tough situation last season so I could understand they needed to bring in maybe more experienced players, which is fair enough.
I am delighted to here now and hopefully it’ll go well.
» When the interest resurfaced this summer, how keen were you to get out and get some more experience in League Two?
I was definitely keen. Last season at Cambridge helped at me a lot and I like the way Cheltenham try and play.
We are a good footballing team and that suits me really well.
» Your first start for Cambridge was actually against Cheltenham. How much did you get out of that loan spell?
I had a few injuries so it didn’t go as well as I wanted it to go, but when I was on the pitch I think it went well and I really enjoyed my time there.
My experience there really helped me and it’s what I want more of, which is why I am here now.
» You have had a taste of the first time at Aston Villa in the EFL Cup and you have League Two experience at Cambridge. What will you now be looking to get out of this loan spell at Cheltenham?
The same as last season really. Game time, more experience playing against seasoned pros really.
I want to score a few more goals and that’s what I am going to push to try and do here.
» What were your instructions on Saturday, playing deeper next to Chris Clements with Max Sheaf more advanced?
The three of us worked well together. It was only our first game, but even in training, everyone seems to have an understanding of what we are trying to do and everyone put it into practice well in the game.
» At Villa you have been 19th man and close to the first-team squad. What was it like seeing the club return to the Premier League last season?
It was unbelievable really, even travelling with the team was a good experience despite not getting on the pitch a lot.
Just being in the dressing room and in team talks has given me a good look at what I need to do. It went really well.
» Has it made a massive difference to the feel around the club, being back in the Premier League?
Yes, definitely. Villa is a massive club and it definitely should be in the Premier League.
The players they had, even last season, are Premier League players.
I think they did really well at the end of last season, it was a late charge and I think they’ll do well this season hopefully.
» Is there anyone at Villa you particularly look up to in your position?
Well John Mcginn, inset, came in last season in my position and he’s doing unbelievably at the minute.
Hopefully he keeps doing what he’s doing. He scores goals as well so he is the player I look up to at Villa.
» He didn’t make a bad start either, with a goal against Spurs on Saturday and despite the 3-1 defeat, they played
well didn’t they? Yes, they were under a lot pressure, but going 1-0 up against Tottenham it was going to be hard to see the game out.
But for the first game in the Premier League for a while it was a good start. » You were 18 when you first appeared in the EFL Cup for Villa. How did your move there initially come about? I was 15 when I signed. They scouted me from my local team at home and when a club like Villa wants you to come across on trial you aren’t going to say no.
I came across on a few trials and then signed.
» Did you have to grow up very quickly because 15 is very young to moving a long way from home?
Yes, I went into digs there. It’s not fending for yourself, but obviously you are away from your parents and my mam’s cooking wasn’t there. I had to grow up quite quickly, yes.
» There was a lot of technical ability in the midfield three on Saturday. One thing you will have to get used to is the physical side of it. Are you confident you can stand up to that? Yes, that’s one thing that’s different in League Two. It is a lot more physical and I got a bit of that on Saturday, a few tackles flying in.
I am able to deal with it and I think I can give back the tackles they are giving to me.
» Cheltenham have had Easah Suliman and Kelsey Mooney on loan from Villa in recent seasons. Did you speak to Kelsey before making the same move? Yes and he really enjoyed it. I don’t think he played as much as he’d like, but he enjoyed the atmosphere around the place. » The training ground isn’t quite Premier League, but how impressed have you been with the facilities for a League Two club? Yes, it’s really good and even the pitches are really good, so I am happy with it and how it’s gone so far.
Will Villa be keeping a close eye on you during your loan spell?i think so, yes.
I spoke to a few people from the club after the game on Saturday, so yes they should be keeping an eye on me yes.
Jake Doyle-hayes shoots on his debut against Scunthorpe
Jake Doyle-hayes challenges Ollie Clarke in the Carabao Cup first round clash