New Hearts goalkeeper won’t settle for back-up role as he looks to earn more Ireland caps


New Hearts goalkeeper Colin Doyle insists he will not settle for warming the bench after becoming manager Craig Levein’s 13th summer signing.

The Republic of Ireland internationalist put pen to paper on a two-year deal on Thursday after leaving Bradford City and is the third shot-stopper to have joined since the transfer window opened, with Zdenek Zlamal and Kevin Silva also having made the switch.

Czech keeper Zlamal is currently in possession of the gloves, while American youngster Silva is expected to feature predominately in the reserve team and former Birmingham City and Blackpool player Doyle insists he plans to give Levein a selection headache.

(Pic: Hearts FC)

Doyle said: “I want to play, I want to play every minute. I want to stay injury-free and hopefully get into that team and keep the shirt.

“It’s hard to keep the shirt and you need to do the best you can, hopefully it will be healthy competition.

“It can only bring the best out of you and that’s what you want, you want to be tested. Kevin signed on Wednesday and Bobby (Zlamal) has been here for a bit.

“It can only bring the best out of you with competition for places.

“You don’t want to think you’re coming as the number one and you’re in the team for the whole season.

“By having good competition you need to work hard everyday, whether that’s training or matches. I’m looking forward to the challenge and hopefully I can do well.

“I’ve played the last three years regularly in England, before that I was classed as a number two at Birmingham.”

Doyle made 88 appearances in two seasons for Bradford, including last May’s crushing League One play-off final defeat to Millwall at Wembley, but turned down the offer of fresh terms last month.

The 33-year-old, who has four caps for Ireland – three of which he has collected this year, is also looking forward to being part of a reinvigorated Scottish top-flight.

He added: “I’ve always taken an interest in Scottish football, being Irish you look at the games.

“I’ve played in England most of my career but you can see the league north of the border is on the up, as it has been for the last few years, with Steven Gerrard coming to manage Rangers and there are some fantastic games to be involved.

“I want to experience those big games of playing the likes of Celtic, Rangers, Hibs – it’s appealing. Hopefully I’m involved in all of those games and we can be pushing up towards the top.

“I want to be successful and hopefully do well.”

Doyle has played in international friendlies against World Cup winners France, Turkey during the second half of last season and is planning to catch national team manager Martin O’Neill’s attention in Scotland.

He added: “I hope so, that was my ambition when I moved to Bradford – I wanted to get back in the squad and I achieved that.

“Last season I wanted to see if I could get a cap and I got three, and I think there was a ten year gap between my first and second cap.

“That was pleasing for me and hopefully moving to such a big club in such a big league will put me in good stead to get a few more.”