Why Cammy Devlin struck Australia deal with Hibs' Martin Boyle 'to prevent Hearts fans biting his head off'

Hibs winger Martin Boyle has paid tribute to his Australia team-mates for helping him cope with the injury that ruled him out of the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Socceroos’ final group match against Denmark on Wednesday, the 29-year-old spoke candidly about the last ten days and why it means so much to him to have stayed on in the Middle East after undergoing surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament issue.

“The lads have been brilliant, they’re happy I’ve stuck around. They all came up as soon as I came out of surgery, gave me a hug, gave me a shirt for the France game which was signed. I’m getting tired of them helping me out around the place, getting my food – Cammy Devlin is a rival back home and he convinced me not to post anything in case the Hearts fans bite his head off,” Boyle said.

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Boyle has taken on a self-appointed role as ‘vibe manager’ for Graham Arnold’s squad and is delighted to have remained with the squad despite being unable to participate on the pitch in their Qatar 2022 journey.

Martin Boyle speaks to the media during an Australia press conference at the Aspire Training Facilities in Doha

“It means a lot. I feels like I’m part of the team and they rate me around the place, which is nice – as long as I can keep smiles on their faces. I’ve kept them all in check, they’re all happy. Beating Tunisia kept the spark alive and the belief and confidence is growing. That’s what Arnie tries to instil in the team, we’ve got that, we’re here, we’re stamping our authority, we’re here to compete,” he added.

Boyle singled out Dundee United defender Aziz Behich and Melbourne City forward Mathew Leckie, giving an insight into how his national team colleagues are helping him in the early days after his operation.

“I’ve got a really great relationship with Aziz and I room with Leckie. When I wake up in the morning, he’s got the coffee, he pushes me around in a wheelchair, he helps me in the shower – obviously PG – but he has definitely helped a lot. We just relax in the room, play a bit of Call of Duty. If it keeps a smile on his face, we’ll get the best performances out of him, which is perfect.”