Boyle in pursuit of more glory with high-flying Socceroos

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Oct 6, 2021

• Martin Boyle explains his part-time football journey to Australian internationalist • Australia face Oman and Japan in crucial FIFA World Cup qualifiers • Socceroos are on a 10-game winning streakThree-year-old Amelia Boyle’s wardrobe doesn’t take sides; the bright yellow Australia mini kit and the more understated dark blue from Scotland both have her name on the back.

Australian and Hibernian forward Papa Martin and Scottish and Hibernian midfielder Mum Rachael both have their sights set on courses they hope will lead them to the FIFA World Cup. 2022 ™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 ™. Amelia has yet to declare allegiance.

“I keep telling Rachael that she is going to be a little Mathilde,” Boyle said. “She, of course, scored it for Scotland. Amelia is a mommy’s girl so she always asks for the tartan top but you can be sure I’m working on this!

There was no such conflict for Boyle. The striker’s unorthodox stint to where he is now came via delivery drivers and part-time football with Montrose as a teenager to lead Australia to a fifth World Cup qualifier. consecutive FIFA.

The Socceroos are currently on a ten-game winning streak – tying a FIFA World Cup record – which places them in a dominant position in Group B. At the top of the section with two wins in two and eight games Still to be played, the brace against Oman in Doha on Thursday and Japan in Saitama on Tuesday could be important in establishing a solid base to build their qualifying ambitions.

How Boyle came to put on the shirt was almost by accident.

“Three years ago Mark Milligan and Jamie MacLaren were at Hibs and Graham Arnold came to our training ground to see them,” said the 28-year-old. “It all started as a joke with the two guys telling him my dad, Graeme, was Australian. Then he asked me if I wanted to go to a training camp in Dubai and see how I was doing.

“There had been discussions about Scotland when Alex McLeish was manager, but by the time he spoke to me I had already made a commitment to go to this Dubai camp with Australia and I didn’t want to come back. on my word. I never looked back. “

Boyle stole the show from Tim Cahill on his maiden start for Australia, scoring two goals and establishing one in a 3-0 win over Lebanon, a game that was Cahill’s 108th and final selection for his country.

The former Everton midfielder presented Boyle with a signed shirt in front of a assembled team to welcome him into the fold, an acceptance the forward has always felt despite the fact that he had never set foot in his father’s birthplace before his call. up.

“I had never been to Australia before playing for them,” Boyle said. “I think it was a little weird at first because I don’t think a lot of guys had seen me play so it kinda felt like a try. But the manager trusted me and it was amazing to have such an impact on my debut.

“I have never felt anything other than the welcome from all the guys. I had to slow down a bit when I was speaking because I’m not sure anyone understood a word I was saying but they all really accepted me and I think that is reflected in my performance. I feel completely at home.

“I’m happy with the (4) goals I scored for Australia, but the truth is I actually think I should have had a few more. It just means that the world for me is to walk away, put on the jersey and give my best every time I’m asked to play. If it’s about scoring goals or creating chances it doesn’t matter, it’s just the team victory.

DOHA, QATAR - SEPTEMBER 02: Australian Martin Boyle celebrates with Aziz Behich, Trent Sainsbury, Ajdin Hrustic and Rhyan Grant after scoring their team's second goal in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between l 'Australia and the PR of China at Khalifa International Stadium on September 02, 2021 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Mohamed Farag / Getty Images)

The opportunity to be part of an Australian squad for the World Cup is an exciting prospect for the striker whose memories of the tournament are framed by some modern FIFA legends.

“It’s amazing for me now to sit here and talk about a World Cup,” he said. “It’s not a job I would have thought I would be in – it’s the pinnacle of anyone’s career. Even if you’d told me that just a few years ago, I probably would have laughed, ”Boyle said. “It would be a great honor and it would be amazing not only for me but also for my family. We have got off to a good, solid start, but there is still a long way to go.

“I think the World Cup in 2002 is the first memory I have of the tournament – I loved Ronaldo and Ronaldhino and I loved this Brazilian team. I was in elementary school and this is the first tournament that I can really remember watching and looking forward to seeing all the games, collecting stickers and tracing the groups. To be at the stage of my career where it’s a realistic ambition, it’s mind-blowing.


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