The 2019/20 campaign will no doubt live long in the memory for a magnitude of reasons, but for Eoin Doyle it will undoubtedly go down as one of his most treasured seasons as a professional footballer thanks to his standout performances on the pitch.
Not only did the striker finish the season with a Sky Bet League Two winners medal around his neck, the Irishman picked up a host of individual accolades to further enhance his reputation in the division.
He might well be focusing on his fitness ahead of the 12 September start date, but improvement work will also be taking place in the Doyle household, as – alongside three Player of the Month Awards - he looks to find additional space for his League Two Player of the Season Award and Golden Boot Award.
Despite winning the league with Swindon Town last season, the forward will not be joining up with the Robins for their League One campaign, and has instead opted to remain in League Two with Bolton Wanderers.
With his family already situated in the north the decision to join the Trotters was an easy one for him. The new man in charge at the University of Bolton Stadium, Ian Evatt, is no stranger to Doyle having played with him at Chesterfield, and following a successful 2019/20 campaign, the 32 year old is raring to go once again.
“It’s a relatively new squad that he has built since coming into the club, but it is exciting times and hopefully this is the first season of the success story,” Doyle said, speaking exclusively to the EFL.
“Bolton are a giant of a club for this division and we know that it’s down to us to make sure we get them out of it.”
Doyle became Evatt’s first new signing since taking over as head coach at Bolton, and having played alongside him at Chesterfield – combined with a move back up north – the move was a no-brainer for Doyle.
“The manager is someone who knows how he wants the team to turn out, he knows the process of how to get us there and we have worked hard in pre-season to set those boundaries.
“We all know how we are going to play this season and we know that we have to win these games to get us up, I have actually played with him before at Chesterfield so I know what he’s all about.
“He did something with Barrow last season that he had no right to do, so he deserves this chance at Bolton and what we have seen so far is that he is a man that is very good at his job.”
Naturally, all strikers set themselves targets, but not even Doyle himself could have predicted hist stats for the 2019/20 campaign.
During Swindon’s assault on the league title, the red-hot striker was simply unstoppable. His 25-goal season was the league’s highest, but being mentioned in the same breath as Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy for his goalscoring attributes was a particular highlight. That and his nickname of the ‘Ginger Pele’.
The forward scored in 11 consecutive games, becoming the first player in England’s top four divisions to do so, since former Fleetwood Town man Vardy back in 2015. With that, he was also one of the most in-form strikers in Europe across the 2019/20 campaign.
We’ll never know if Doyle would have gone on to break Tom Pope’s record 31-goal tally which stands from the 2012/13 League Two season, but what we do know is that the Ginger Pele will be striking fear through defences once again next season.
“It is a great record to have and as a striker you want to be scoring goals and to keep scoring in back-to-back games is amazing,” he continued.
“To then to be mentioned in the same breath as Jamie Vardy to have scored in consecutive games, is something that I am really proud of.”
“The reason why the club brought me here to Bolton is to score goals, there is no doubt about that - so with a bit a luck I can hopefully go on next season and score the goals that will help this team get back up to the next division.
“That is the plan, I’m not going to set myself any targets to break records or anything like that, I just want to get back to scoring goals on a regular basis and see where it takes me.”