Hibs’ winger Martin Boyle has been welcomed in by his international team-mates during the Australian national team’s training camp in the United Arab Emirates and described it as an honour to be part of the group.
It’s been an amazing journey for the 25-year-old who only five years ago was loaned from Dundee, then of the Championship in Scotland, to Montrose who were plying their trade in League Two. Now he is involved with a nation that regularly qualifies for the FIFA World Cup.
Ever since his loan move to Hibs in January 2015 with Alex Harris going in the opposite direction, he has made continual improvements, leading him to become one of the club’s star players and a fans’ favourite.
Speaking to the Football Federation Australia, Boyle said: “It’s [the camp] been brilliant. The opportunity to represent your country is a great honour.
“I have been welcomed in by the squad and they’ve been great with me.
“We’ve spoken about it [playing for Australia] plenty of times in the past few years, but the situation where I was I never thought that in a million years that my journey would come this far.
“If you had told me that I would be playing international football I would’ve laughed at you. It’s been an incredible journey and it’s one that I want to continue to take further.”
His call-up to the Australian national team came about as manager Graham Arnold visited the Hibernian Training Centre as he done the rounds of clubs in Scotland who had Australian players.
His stay in the camp will be cut short as he is unable to play against Kuwait due to him awaiting clearance however he will stay to watch the match.
He added: “The boss [Graham Arnold] came in and we had a sit-down after the training session and he told me what he wanted, his aims going forward, the expectations from the squad, and the system of play and how he wants to play. I’ve really bought into it.
“That sit-down face-to-face was really what I needed, and he seemed keen for me to come onboard. The opportunity that he’s given me at the moment, I don’t want to let him down and I want to play the best football that I can under him.
“Jamie [Maclaren] has been there [at Hibernian FC] the past year or so and we always talk about it [the Socceroos] and he always emphasises how good the squad is, how tight they are as a unit, and that they are all great lads and playing top level football.
“I will be back in Edinburgh on Monday and I will be trying to catch updates and get the game any way I can. The lads are looking forward to the game and they are looking to make a statement.”