Young American hopes to fulfil childhood dream of a career playing in England
CONOR Doyle says he has realised his childhood dream by joining Derby County.
The American forward has always wanted to play in England – and now he has the chance after signing a two-year contract with the Rams.
The 18-year-old came over from the US to link up with Nigel Clough's side for a two-week trial.
However, after impressing in several pre-season friendlies, he was offered a permanent deal with the club.
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Doyle has had to give up a scholarship at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, but – ultimately – he felt this was a chance he could not turn down.
"It was a big decision to make and I talked to my parents and a lot of family members about it," he said.
"We decided that school will always be there but this is my dream and I need to follow it.
"It was tough at the beginning but, in the end, it was an easy choice to make.
"It's always been a dream of mine to play over here, since I was about two or three.
"Now it's come true and it's unbelievable that it's happened at 18.
"I'm hoping to push on now and move on to bigger things."
Doyle's father, David, was a professional footballer himself and played for many years in the now defunct Major Indoor Soccer League.
Doyle senior was born in Ireland, meaning that his son qualified for a UK work permit.
"I've grown up with English football. With my dad being from Ireland, it was always on the TV in our house," said Doyle junior.
"I always wanted to come and play over here and now I've got that chance.
"Getting to the Premier League is the ultimate dream. Hopefully, we can build on last season, move on up the table and get promotion this year."
Doyle was born in Kansas before moving to Dallas.
He played youth football for the Dallas Texans and graduated from McKinney High School.
"I grew up around football in Dallas," he said. "I often went to practise with my dad and was always around professional football.
"I played for Dallas Texans for five or six years and had great success there.
"I had some great coaching there and I was able to graduate early and move on to college.
"I was only there for a short time but being with those guys was awesome. It was a great experience and really helped me move on to this."
Doyle was an unused substitute in Derby's Championship opener at Leeds last weekend and made his debut in Tuesday's Carling Cup first round tie against Crewe Alexandra, when he came off the bench late on in the 1-0 defeat.
"It was nice to get on and good to have the experience but, obviously, you don't want to lose that way," he said.
"Hopefully, next time, I will be part a winning effort.
"I expect us to come out flying against Cardiff this weekend, after what happened at Crewe."
Doyle was first spotted by the Rams a year ago and flew over to spend a few days training with the squad last summer.
He was invited back this year but his second visit exceeded all expectations.
"To be honest, I was expecting to have two weeks here before going back to college," he admitted.
"But then I started playing in more and more games and they started talking to me (about signing).
"It was only then that I started to realise that this really could happen. It's a lot more than I expected."
Doyle knows he faces competition for a first-team place but intends to make the most of his opportunities when they come along.
"My expectations have been raised and now I will be aiming to get on the field a little bit longer," he added.
"Being young and coming in the team only a couple of weeks before the season starts, you don't necessarily expect to play much.
"But to train with the squad every day is a great experience.
"I am just hoping to get some games and when I do play, to take that opportunity."