Martin Boyle has revealed how his call-up by Australia brought a tear to his father’s eye.
The Hibs winger is eligible to play for the Socceroos thanks to his dad Graeme having been born in Sydney. Boyle is poised to win his first cap when the Aussies face South Korea in Brisbane on Saturday night as they begin their preparations for January’s AFC Asian Cup.
Edinburgh-born Boyle travelled with Easter Road team-mates Mark Milligan and Jamie Maclaren having had his first taste of the international set-up at a training camp in Kuwait last month, unable to play in a friendly at that time as he awaited his Australian citizenship being granted.
Now, he insisted, he’s determined to make his father proud, saying: “He was shedding a tear. He can’t take time off work to get across, but I’m making him proud and that’s all that matters.
“I got invited to the Kuwait camp, I showed what I can do, and now I’m back after my performances for Hibs.”
Having started his career with Montrose, 25-year-old Boyle admitted he never gave international football a second thought although he revealed he knew a fair bit about the Socceroos having watched them on television with his father.
He said: “Whilst I was playing lower league football, never in a million years did I think I’d get the opportunity. It has been a long run to get here and it’s happened so quick and I’m very honoured.”
Aussie captain Milligan has no doubt Boyle will excite the Socceroos supporters with new coach Graham Arnold intent on playing an attacking style of football having taken over from Dutchman Bert van Marwijk, who was in charge of their World Cup campaign in Russia.
The veteran midfielder told socceroos.com.au: “We’re going to be playing a bit different. Arnie has his way of playing and I think the focus isn’t just going to be on the front one or the front two.
“I think our overall way of playing is going to help us score goals. We’ve got a lot of attacking weapons wth Jamie and Boyley coming in. I think there’s a lot to be excited for.”
Accepting few Aussie fans will have heard of Boyle, Milligan insisted they won’t be disappointed, saying: “He’s an exciting player. He’s been scoring goals for us and he’s very positive, very fast and looks to get in behind.
“I think he will add another dimension to what we do going forward. The way Arnie wants to play, in getting forward and the rotations he wants to use, I think Boyley will fit in well and I think he’ll be a threat to anyone we play, whether that be across Asia or Europe.”