MARTIN BOYLE has promised that his best is yet to come after signing a new deal with high-flying Hibs.
Boyle, 27, last night ended speculation regarding his future by penning an extension which keeps him at Easter Road until the summer of 2023.
The Australia internationalist, whose prior contract was due to expire next June, had attracted interest from the likes of Celtic, Stoke City and Huddersfield Town in recent months.
And his decision to stay put is another massive boost for Jack Ross’ unbeaten charges, who are currently level on points with Rangers at the summit of the Premiership.
Boyle beamed: “I still think my best years are ahead of me.
“I had some really positive conversations with Leeann [Dempster, CEO], Graeme [Mathie, sporting director] and the gaffer and it should be obvious how much we’re all enjoying our football just now.
“The results probably speak for themselves.
“We’ve given ourselves something to build on for the rest of the season and I’d love to add a few more highs to the ones I’ve already enjoyed.”
Boyle initially joined Hibs on loan from Dundee in January 2015 before making the switch permanent six months later – and has enjoyed a swathe of successes in Edinburgh.
The former Montrose man has scored 36 goals in that time, written his name into Hibee history by lifting the Scottish Cup in 2016 and won the Scottish Championship title.
He has also played in the Europa League and found the net twice in four caps for his adopted Aussies.
Boyle inked his new deal mere days after his wife, Rachael, extended her stay with Hibs’ women’s team – and he can barely believe how far he has come since his days as a part-timer at Links Park.
He added: “It’s no secret what the club means to me and my family.
“It was only yesterday that Rachael signed her own deal with Hibernian Women, and it was an easy decision for the pair of us to make.
“I was in the away dressing room at Easter Road earlier for some photography. The last time I was there was 10 years ago as a Montrose player! It’s been some journey since.”
Boyle has already contributed two goals to Hibs’ blistering start to the campaign.
However, head coach Ross is keen to emphasise that his impact off the pitch is almost as important, with his ‘larger than life’ persona a constant source of positivity around the Hibernian Training Centre.
And the Easter Ross gaffer could barely contain his delight that Hibs’ star-man is going nowhere.
Ross told Hibs TV: “I value Martin’s contribution to the team, but I think that extends to the whole club.
“He’s a larger than life character. It’s easy to dismiss that as a laugh and a joke but it’s the kind of thing that can pull others along when the going gets tough.
“Martin also works incredibly hard on his game and that shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s matured into a player of real quality.”