Martin Boyle joins up with Australia as Hibs ace revives former role with Socceroos
Surgery on his knee ruled him out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but he stayed on with the Socceroos as self-appointed ‘vibe manager’, and Graham Arnold requested Boyle be allowed to leave Hibs and join up with his Australian colleagues to provide moral support, while also continuing to work on his rehab with the country’s medical team.
Australia face Ecuador in a double-header on home soil in what will be the team’s homecoming after the World Cup and although the 29-year-old attacker was understandably omitted from the playing squad called up for the matches, he will nevertheless have a big role to play, with Arnold valuing what the Scottish-born Socceroo brings to the table.
Boyle was named in the Australia World Cup squad but was ruled out on the eve of the tournament, having to undergo surgery on a knee problem only to discover an underlying anterior cruciate ligament issue that ended his hopes of involvement in the competition and at club level for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign.
Arnold said prior to Qatar 2022: “We all feel for Martin and it is a cruel blow for him. 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.”
Hibs boss Lee Johnson said this week: “We are really pleased with how Martin has been progressing over the last few months and he is well on track with his rehabilitation and recovery. The last few months have been difficult for him, but he has been working really hard to make sure he gets back to full fitness as quickly as he can.
“When you are out injured for a long period of time, it can be a lonely place as a footballer. This is a good opportunity for Boyler to go out to Australia, link up with his international teammates and receive some of the best medical care in a new environment. The change of scenery will be good for his mindset, and I’m sure he will come back revitalised when we welcome him back in a week’s time.”