Hibs winger Martin Boyle has vowed to do all he can to win a place in Australia’s squad after today being called up by the Socceroos for a training camp in the Middle East.
The Aussies will end that camp with a friendly international against Kuwait although Boyle won’t be eligible to play as he awaits the necessary passport. But Australian coach Graham Arnold is keen to have Boyle, whose father Graeme was born in Australia, in his plans for his country’s defence of the AFC Asian Cup which takes place in the United Arab Emirates. And he hopes the 25-year-old will be given the green light to feature in friendlies against South Korea in Brisbane and Lebanon in Sydney, next month.
Boyle will be joined in the trip to the Middle East by Hibs team-mate Mark Milligan, who already has 71 caps to go along with appearing at the finals of four World Cups, but striker Jamie Maclaren misses out as he recovers from a back injury.
Aberdeen-born Boyle was also said to have been interesting Scotland boss Alex McLeish, who elected not to name him in his squad for next week’s UEFA Nations League match in Israel and a friendly against Portugal at Hampden a few days later, clearing the way for Arnold, who met the player during a recent visit to Hibs’ training centre at East Mains, to step in.
Boyle said: “I’m delighted to be named in the Australia squad. It’s a proud moment for me and my family.
“The national team manager spoke with me about my eligibility and he was keen to bring me into the squad and I was keen to be involved.
“Milly and Jamie have both spoken to me about the squad and I’m really excited to be heading across with the team. It’s a talented group of players I will be joining up with, so I know I will need to go in and prove myself to the manager. I’m prepared to work hard to show why he wanted me to be involved.”
Boyle, who was rested as Hibs defeated St Mirren as he recovered from a foot injury, told hibernian.fc.co.uk: “Just now, my main focus is on Hamilton at the weekend and helping the team to three points. But once that is done and dusted, I’ll be excited to join up with the national team and be involved in training.
“It will be a new experience for me, but with plenty of experienced players in there, I am sure they will help me bed into the new environment and I can’t wait to pull on the gold jersey for the first time.”
Boyle’s team-mate Daryl Horgan has been named in the Republic of Ireland’s squad for their Nations League matches against Denmark and Wales in Dublin.