Boyle pleased to be part of Irish invasion of PNE

Andy Boyle.

Andy Boyle.

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Andy Boyle is ready to lead the Irish invasion of Preston North End.

The central defender’s arrival along with that of Dundalk team mate Daryl Horgan means there are now six of the best when it comes to Irishmen at Deepdale.

The pair join Greg Cunningham, Alan Browne, Eoin Doyle and Scottish-born Aiden McGeady in Simon Grayson’s squad.

“The lads were joking there’s a bit of an Irish takeover,” said the 25-year-old.

“I don’t know about that. All the lads have something to give and it’s great to have a few Irish lads to make it feel a little bit more like home.

“When I signed I wasn’t sure if Daryl was going to be signing.

“I knew there was interest but it’s great to have someone coming through the door with me.

“Outside of Daryl I played youth football with Greg for the international side.

“I played against Eoin Doyle a few times but to be fair everyone has been excellent.”

Called up to Martin O’Neill’s senior squad in November, international clearance and selection by Grayson stand between the Dundalk pair and a PNE bow at Burton Albion on January 2.

They have barely been afforded a break, having just 10 days off since their extended season finished at the start of December.

“We haven’t had too long a break off so one or two sessions and you’re back into it,” said Boyle

“We have to wait for the clearance and we’re not sure when that’s going to come through.

“With it being New Year’s Day and stuff you don’t know how long people are going to work.

“Hopefully it comes through as quickly as possible, I’m just looking forward to getting going.

“If I’m not available for the 2nd though there’s the massive game against Arsenal.”

All eyes will be on the League of Ireland pair’s transition to the Championship.

They were key however as Dundalk starred in Europe, becoming the first Irish side to reach the play-off round of the Champions League before also impressing as they exited the Europa League at the group stage.

The memorable run included facing clubs such as Zenit Saint Petersburg, Legia Warsaw and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

“The training itself is already different, the intensity is always up,” said Boyle.

“There’s a lot of good players here.

“If you give the ball away in the possession games you’re waiting for a long time to get the ball back.

“It’s a step up from what we’re used to but I suppose the European run will have helped me and Daryl along the way to playing against better opposition.

“There were some countries I never thought I’d end up in.

“We’ve had some great trips and you’d hope playing in those big games will help in the Championship.

“There’ll be 20 plus thousand most weeks and they’re the kind of attendances you want to be playing in front of.

“That’s the beauty for us coming over.

“It’s such a great league to play but we’ve got to aim as high as possible and see where that takes us.”