Hibs next manager: Martin Boyle has say on new boss as he speaks on Australia return
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The 30-year-old was robbed of a dream appearance in the 2022 World Cup when he was diagnosed with an ACL injury on the eve of the tournament, and took up the role of ‘vibes manager’ in Qatar as the Socceroos reached the round of 16. Having also been sidelined for the 2019 Asian Cup, Boyle is eager to make up for lost time and is set to play in the 2024 edition early next year.
“I think the vibes manager is done now, I’m going to put that to bed,” Boyle said, speaking ahead Sunday’s international. “I’m back now. It was a good title to have, but having the boots back on, actually playing, helping the boys again and representing the nation is fantastic. I enjoyed the vibe manager side of things, but most importantly, I want to be back playing.
"I feel like I’m in a good place this moment, the injury’s completely at the back of my mind. I can’t be going into the games worrying about injuries that have happened in the past. I’ve done my rehab and I feel like I’ve got a bit of strength in me, my legs are a bit stronger than they were before. But obviously I know myself, I’ve missed two major tournaments from injury and two serious knee injuries, which is not great.”
Describing the lengthy road back to fitness, Boyle admitted it had been ‘extremely hard’ and ‘mentally quite exhausting’, adding: “I did have some tough days. The rehab process was quite repetitive and can get quite boring, especially when you’re watching the lads train every day – it can be a lonely place. You have to work hard and I know lots of people that have had this injury before, that have obviously made a tremendous comeback so you’ve got to take inspiration from that.”
Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has been linked with the vacancy at Hibs, while Central Coast Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery has been the favourite for the role with some bookies, but Boyle wouldn’t be drawn on his new club manager, insisting that his full focus was on the internationals.
"It's obviously a massive job and [Arnie’s] been linked with it, but I don't deal with that side of things, if he was offered it that's great for him but he enjoys what he does here. He feels he has some unfinished business, I'm happy to say he's my coach on either side of things. We’ve got a fantastic relationship. What he’s done for me over the last few years has been incredible. The only thing I can do is repay that faith on the pitch.”
On the Montgomery rumours Boyle added: “You hear whispers and see social media. Obviously whoever is appointed will do a great job and take it very seriously. I'm on national team duty now and that's my main focus, so if anything is done then happy days. We have an interim manager who has done a great job, we had a great result on the weekend, and I'll asses that situation when I'm back at my club."