Hibs hero Martin Boyle: I've never felt anything like Edinburgh derby equaliser against Hearts
He’s a Scottish Cup winner and scored a hat-trick against Rangers in a Hampden semi-final, but Martin Boyle insists he’s never had a feeling like the one he experienced after coming off the bench to equalise in the dying seconds of Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.
The returning Easter Road hero only got the call on Saturday evening from manager Lee Johnson that his registration had been processed and he was available to play against Hearts following his move home from Al-Faisaly in Saudi Arabia.
Having not played football since late June, Boyle was only trusted to enter the fray as a second-half substitute but he made the ultimate impact to stab home Elie Youan’s injury-time cross and send the home fans into raptures.
“That was incredible, I have never felt anything like that in my life,” the 29-year-old said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, it probably will when I am in training tomorrow and all the other lads are off.
“It’s obviously a great feeling. It’s good the lads down there welcomed me in again and I can’t wait to get a pre-season under my belt and kick on.
“My head is still in a spin, I think I gave myself a migraine. I needed a defibrillator after that goal. What a feeling. It’s good to be back. The occasion spoke for itself.
“The fans came out in their numbers today and it was special for me and my family to see. And obviously to contribute and help the team was fantastic.”
Though his adventure in the Middle East only lasted seven months of a two-year deal, Boyle insists he has no regrets regarding his decision to initially leave in January.
“I tried it. It did not really work out with the relegation and stuff like that. But I can say I tried it,” Boyle responded.
"It was all right. It was a bit hot! A big upside down in terms of training times and Ramadan and all that. Sometimes we were kicking off Champions League games at 12 o’clock at night and training was later on. Basically I never saw the daylight. As you can tell, I have no tan!
"I thoroughly enjoyed it, great people – it is a great club. Obviously I have not had time to wish them all the best but I will get round to that.
"When I knew Hibs were interested it was a no-brainer for me. To come back to a competitive league and where I am adored by the fans and my family are happy and obviously to try and kick on and be in that World Cup squad is a big thing as well. I would definitely encourage it. But it was a special feeling to come back.”
Next up for Boyle will be to hit the training pitch to make sure he’s in optimal fitness to help Hibs improve this season after results dropped off a cliff in his absence. He’s also got some learning to do after a summer of change in Leith.
“None, I don’t even know names,” he said when asked if he knew the new signings. “They’re all great guys though. I’ll learn all of the characteristics of the boys at training. I’ll try and come in and shake the place up a bit.”