Rachael Boyle staying at Hibs as husband Martin Boyle goes to Saudi Arabia to set family up for life

As one Boyle departs Easter Road for pastures new, another is definitely staying put.

By Neil McGlade
Friday, 21st January 2022, 9:46 pm

Hibernian Women's Rachael, wife of now ex-Hibee Martin, will continue to pull on the green-and-white jersey and represent the club in SWPL 1 following her spouse's life-changing move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Faisaly.

The Scotland international revealed – in an exclusive interview with the Evening News – that the family's East Lothian household, that they share with three-year-old daughter Amelia, had become an emotional hotspot since the turn of the year.

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The married couple spent hours on end deliberating over the money-spinning contract offer from the wealthy Middle East outfit before concluding that a new adventure lay in store for the 28-year-old fans' favourite.

And while Hibs rightly retained their stance that the winger would only be sold if the circling vultures matched the club's £3million valuation of a player who initially arrived in the Capital on loan from Dundee in January 2015, Rachael admits the lucrative financial package being dangled in front of them is something, even now, they are still trying to get their heads around.

It has been a rollercoaster 24 hours for the 30-year-old who will try to get her head back in the game as she prepares for Hibernian Women's trip to league leaders Rangers on Sunday.

"It is a big, big change, there's no getting away from that," Rachael said. "Martin spent seven years with Hibs and loved every minute of it so I knew it was always going to be difficult for him to leave the club. But the more we spoke about it the more I realised it was something that he really wanted to try.

Martin Boyle with with Rachael and daughter Amelia, pictured in May 2019

"I knew he wanted to explore other opportunities in his career at some point but I really didn't expect it to be Saudi Arabia. We're just hopeful it will all work out.

"Martin is a character. He could speak to a brick wall and he'd get a laugh out of it as everyone knows. I'm sure he'll make friends very quickly so that will make us feel a lot better back here knowing that he's happy.

"Amelia is going to miss her daddy so much, even seeing him on the pitch at Easter Road as he'd always look up for us sitting in the stand when we went to watch him play.

"But we've just got to take everything that comes now. It's a new adventure and one we're all looking forward to it.

Rachael Boyle will continue to play for Hibs women while Martin goes to Saudi Arabia

"We did have a chat about Amelia and I going out there to be with him and support him, but we just feel with having our daughter it's not really a country I know too much about and I don't want her life to change in that sense. We're trying to keep her as stable as possible so we'll fly out and see him when we can.

"I've obviously still got a few years left in me too and I want to keep playing. We just felt it wasn't the right time to uproot the whole family so Martin has assured me he can go over there, do his job and be successful with this team.

"I can hold down the fort at home, look after Amelia and continue to play football. We are a married couple but we do have our own hobbies and interests and football careers."

Boyle – Martin that is – said his goodbyes to his Easter Road team-mates before jetting off to Australia yesterday morning ahead of the Socceroos' crucial World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam in Melbourne on Thursday and in Oman on Tuesday, February 1 – the same day Shaun Maloney's Hibs welcome Hearts in the second Edinburgh derby of the season.

Martin Boyle has been reflecting on what he achieved at Hibs

Rachael believes it is only now that the former Montrose part-timer is beginning to take stock of what the Scottish Cup winner achieved while representing the Leith outfit.

"He was really quite emotional at the airport when he had the chance to sit down and read all the messages from the fans thanking him," she explained.

"He's not usually like that because he just left the house yesterday morning, said his goodbyes and that was it. I don't think he fully realised how much it was going to hit him until now, but we're obviously happy with the deal he has been given because never in a million years did I think we'd be looking at that sort of money.

"Our backgrounds growing up in Aberdeen were very similar. We both come from working-class families so this is an opportunity for Martin to go and set us up for life. It's something he just couldn't turn down. Football is a short career and with the serious knee injuries he has had, we know that at any given moment that could all change.

"We're hopeful he might get home for a day or two after the qualifiers and then he'll be packing up his stuff and heading out to Saudi Arabia.

"But we're prepared to get that phone call from Australia to say he's just heading straight for Saudi so it's just a waiting game really."

And, finally, who could forget her husband's 72-hour bar crawl around the Capital in the aftermath of Hibs' historic cup win in May 2016? Rachael certainly hasn't.

"He's still in the bad books for that one - I've never let him live it down," she laughed. "Martin likes to have a drink when the season's finished or on the odd Saturday when he's played well. But he knows the rules out there in Saudi Arabia. He has his PlayStation so he assures me that as long as he has that he'll be happy."

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