Martin Boyle is back in Socceroos camp and eager to add to his four international caps as he puts an injury and COVID-19-ravaged couple of years behind him.
After recovering from a debilitating knee injury sustained ahead of the 2019 Asian Cup, the impacts of coronavirus meant that Boyle was forced to wait even longer than expected for an extended run-out in Green and Gold.
But after impressing in Scotland with Hibernian this season, the winger has been selected in Graham Arnold’s squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
“I’ve been unfortunate with injury and the COVID situation,” admitted Boyle.
“But I’m really proud to be selected for Australia again and am hungry to add to my caps for the Green and Gold.”
In a standout season for the 28-year-old, Boyle netted an impressive 15 goals which helped Hibs claim third position in the Scottish Premiership and a place in the Scottish Cup Final.
While Hibs unfortunately went down to St Johnstone at the final hurdle, an in-form Boyle - who was last week named the club's Player of the Season - is heading into Socceroos camp brimming with confidence.
“Stats-wise this has been my best season,” he said.
“We obviously wanted to win some silverware but finishing third in the league was a great achievement for us and I’m really proud of what I and the team has done this year.”
Boyle will be looking to add to his two goals for Australia, making the most of an international career that almost never was.
After representing Scotland at youth level when he was 15, Boyle only switched his allegiances to Australia in 2018; a decision he has never doubted since.
“From the moment I came into the Australian setup, I immediately fell in love with the surroundings,” explained Boyle.
“I was made to feel welcome and part of the family right from the get-go which is why I’m always smiling and making the most of it.”
There will be a few new faces who will also be looking to make the most of it with the likes of Connor Metcalfe and Ruon Tongyik all called up to the national side for the first time.
The trio have been selected following impressive A-League performances, something Boyle says they should look to replicate on the international stage.
“It is a great opportunity for them because we know they are talented players,” said Boyle,
“If they perform at the level they do at their club then I’m sure they will settle in perfectly.”