Doyle's delight as Neesa set to captain in NPL
SOCCER: While it is a far cry from kicking the ball around her Lawrence backyard with the family, Neesa Doyle credits those early years as the building blocks to her on-field career.
And it is a career that is about to take a major turn after the 22-year-old was announced as the captain of Gold Coast United.
The recently reformed club will take on the National Premier League this season, and looked to the experienced Doyle - who has played the past two years in the competition - to lead them to glory.
"This is a massive moment for me,” Doyle said.
"It is my first time being selected to captain a squad, and to be the year United come back to the league is a very special moment.”
Doyle said her side had resumed pre-season training back in November last year but had waited until their two American imports arrived before making the decision on captaincy.
The side now has an intense five weeks of pre-season left before its players charge into the season, which kicks off next month.
"It has been tough so far but without our final two import players being here we haven't been able to work on anything tactical,” she said. "It will be an intense couple of weeks coming up and we will have trial matches each weekend until the season kicks off.”
The season is proving to be full of firsts for the Maclean Bobcats junior with head coach Michael Cooke opting to switch the striker to a spot in the back line.
"As much as this year will be a leadership year, it is also going to be a learning year for me,” she said.
"The new coach came in with fresh eyes and he wanted to watch players and see where he thought they fit in the side. With my speed and strength I guess he decided centre back was the right fit.
"In some aspects it really suits me, but I am going to need to do a crash course in tackling before the season begins. Luckily, I have the best defender in the game beside me to help out.”
With Gold Coast United pushing for a berth in the W-League in 2019, Doyle said it was the perfect time to push her case but results would be key.
"I would love to play in the W-League, but to get there we're going to need to show that we belong,” she said.
"We need to win but we also need to show we have a big supporter base who will get behind us.”
Doyle also credited Maclean High coach Wayne Sutton for pushing her to get involved in the sport.