Martin Boyle can still play big role for Australia despite injury hell, insists Hibs colleague

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Paul Hanlon reckons Hibs colleague Martin Boyle can still play a big part in Australia’s World Cup campaign despite his injury heartbreak.

The 29-year-old was ruled out of Qatar 2022 over the weekend, succumbing to a knee injury sustained in the Capital club’s 3-0 victory over St Mirren on October 29. Melbourne City’s Marco Tilio has been drafted into replace the popular attacker in the squad, although Boyle will remain with the group throughout the World Cup and still play a part in their journey in the Middle East.

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold described it as a ‘cruel blow’ for the 19-cap forward, adding: “He has been an integral part of our journey to get to Qatar and we thank him for everything he has given the Socceroos during this campaign. We also thank his club, who have done everything possible from their end to try and help. He will be back and we can’t wait to see him in the green and gold again next year.”

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Speaking after the Hanlon Stevenson Foundation charity match at Easter Road, Hibs captain Hanlon paid tribute to Boyle and tipped him to bounce back for another shot at the tournament in Canada, Mexico, and the United States in 2026.

“We’re all proper gutted for him. I spoke to him on Sunday morning, he’s gone there and done everything he could with his rehab. Australia and Hibs have helped a lot and between them they’ve done everything they could to try to get him on the pitch,” Hanlon said.

“It’s obviously not been the case and we’re devastated for him. It would have been an incredible experience for him. He’s done so much to get Australia there, he’s been a big part of their squad, and I’m sure he would have played a big part in the World Cup as well.

“From what he says, they’ve got a really tight group and tight squad and I think they really appreciate what he brings to a squad, as we do at Hibs. He brings a lot, not just on the pitch.

"I’m sure he’ll be good around the camp, regardless of if he’s playing or not. It’s not to be but, you never know – in four years’ time, he could maybe get another go.”

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