Martin Boyle believes Socceroos fans ‘haven’t seen the best of him’ as the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier against Kuwait in Perth looms.
It comes as the Hibernian forward experiences a rich vein of form after overcoming a series of knee injuries throughout 2019.
After starring in both 2018 friendlies against Lebanon and Korea Republic, Boyle was sidelined for several months with a serious knee injury, which ruled him out for the final four months of the Scottish Premier League season and the entire 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaign.
But since his return from injury, the 26-year-old has been in a rich vein of form for Hibernian.
Now, Boyle's aiming to make a big contribution to the Socceroos' FIFA World Cup hopes, starting with their crucial March 26th qualifier against Kuwait in Perth.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better return. I’ve picked up the player of the month in Scotland, it’s been going great,” Boyle told socceroos.com.au.
“It's been a long gap between the games, and I was gutted in that sense. Now that I’m in top form for my club, I can be in selection for the squad and play my bit.”
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After missing the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and earlier qualifiers due to injury, Boyle is ready to show Australian fans his best football for the national team after regaining top form for Hibernian.
He said: “I’ve been itching for a long time to get back out there and showcase what I can really do, and a lot of the fans out there haven’t seen the best of me and what I can really show.”
While the Socceroos have already demonstrated a damaging attack through the 16 goals scored in their first four World Cup qualifiers, Boyle believes he can add a new dynamic to the squad.
“I consider myself a fast player, I’m speedy and I’m direct, I like to travel with the ball and I’ve got an eye for goal," he said.
Boyle added that his combination with striker Jamie Maclaren, whom he played with at Hibernian, can flourish on the field in Perth.
“Hopefully I can set up teammates like Macca (Maclaren) who used to play here so in that sense, we’ve got a connection.”
The Socceroo has scored six goals and assisted teammates on three occasions in his last twelve matches for Scottish Premier League outfit Hibernian, and Boyle credits his attitude in recovery as the catalyst for his form for both club and country.
“I can say that there have been positives to take out of it (knee injury)," he said.
“I think I learnt more about the game in terms of positions where I can be taking up in the game.”
He added: “I spent time developing on being stronger in the gym and working on things that normally I couldn’t. I’m now not getting pushed off the ball as easily.”
And, Boyle has extra motivation to continue to regain form.
The Socceroos are aspiring to participate in their fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup, but for Boyle, it would be a dream come true to make be involved at the major tournament for the first time.
“Obviously it would be everything, everything that you’ve dreamed of as a little kid, as a little boy growing up, to represent your country at a World Cup," he said.
"There’s a big crop of players coming through at the moment who Arnie [Socceroos coach Graham Arnold] can depend on.”
However, the Hibernian forward remains grounded, maintaining his priorities are on retaining the faith of Arnold during the next round of qualifiers, in a competitive squad.
“It’s still a long way, we have a lot of games to be done but I believe that we can achieve that again. With the squad that we have, everyone’s pushing for a start, everyone’s strong in every position.”