Coventry City manager Mark Robins moved quickly once relegation to League Two was confirmed to secure Michael Doyle as his first signing of the summer for a rebuilt Sky Blues squad.
Having just completed a promotion-winning campaign with Portsmouth there was some surprise that Doyle was available but his return to the Ricoh Arena sent an immediate signal that City were moving properly in the transfer market after the debacle of the previous two transfer windows.
And it virtually guaranteed Robins a player that he knew he would be able to base his team around for the upcoming campaign as Doyle has been a man for all seasons at each one of his clubs in England.
From his Sky Blues debut at the beginning of the 2003/04 season, through spells at Leeds United, Sheffield United and Pompey and now back with Coventry, the Irishman has been a dependable figure for a host of different managers.
A little bit of luck is needed to avoid injury problems but over 600 league appearances tells its own story and despite being the wrong side of 35 Doyle has shown no let up this season.
Saturday’s game at Notts County will be his 39th start of the League Two season and he has led by example both on the pitch to help keep City in the hunt for promotion and off it with his duties as skipper as this tweet shows.
A fantastic night at our latest meeting – huge thanks to the Skipper and leader of our pack, Michael Doyle, and our main man @sparkymcnulty – 20 goals a season and proved us wrong! Two really nice blokes – Keep it going to the end of the season lads ?? @Coventry_City pic.twitter.com/MVtMQdcn8O
? CCFC Supporters Club (@lwccfc) April 4, 2018