BY ALAN TEMPLE – CCP_Sport
MARTIN BOYLE admits he was desperate to do his family proud after bagging a brace on his maiden start for Australia.
Boyle, who is eligible to play for the Socceroos through his Sydney-born father Graeme, turned in a sensational showing against Lebanon yesterday, scoring twice before teeing up a third for Hertha Berlin’s Mathew Leckie.
He stole the show during an emotional farewell for Tim Cahill, as the Aussie icon made his 108th and final appearance for the nation at a packed ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
“To start for Australia is a huge honour and I treated it with the respect it deserved. I want to give my all for the country of my father’s birth and where my family is strongly connected to, which is why I will never stop performing to the best of my ability when I pull on the gold and green jersey.
“The feeling when that first goal went in was immense, to have got my second straight after was so surreal. Both were moments of intense pride for me and ones that I will never forget.
“Setting up the third goal was fantastic as well, it was a great pass from Aaron [Mooy] to me and I was delighted to see Mathew [Leckie] finish it off.”
Boyle’s virtuoso showing yesterday capped a whirlwind three days for the Easter Road favourite, having climbed from the bench against South Korea on Saturday to play a pivotal part in the late leveller as Massimo Luongo rescued a 1-1 draw in Brisbane.
“I’m claiming the assist from the first game too, so to have two goals and two assists isn’t so bad!” he added.
“I am excited to see what the future holds for me and Australia. Like I said, I want to give my all every time I represent the country and show why I am deserving of my place in the squad.”
Boyle was joined in the Aussie squad by Hibs teammates Mark Milligan – named the Socceroos captain after the armband was vacated by Mile Jedinak – and Jamie Maclaren.
And he is hopeful their trip Down Under will help the Hibees ascend the Premiership table following a run of four matches without a victory.
Relegation-threatened Dundee are the visitors to the capital on Saturday.
“Myself, Jamie [Maclaren] and Mark [Milligan] have all played over the international period and have all contributed in our own ways to the team,” he told Hibs’ official website. “We are feeling fresh after getting a bit of time on the pitch.
“I know we’re all looking forward to coming back to the club and trying to rectify the last few results that we’ve had.
“Personally, I’ll be looking forward to trying to replicate my form with my national team with Hibs and help the team to three points.”
He added: “Dundee are a hard test for us with their recent change in manager and the fact they fighting to turnaround their fortunes, but it is one I know we can overcome if we put our minds to it.”