‘The football really attracted me’: how Martin Boyle was swayed by Arnie’s new-look Caltex Socceroos

Martin Boyle says Graham Arnold’s style of football was the biggest factor in the 25-year-old pledging his allegiance to Australia.

The Aberdeen-born attacker has been courted by Scotland manager Alex McLeish recently, and was a name plucked from the blue when he was announced in Arnold’s training camp ahead of next Tuesday morning’s (AEDT) friendly against Kuwait.

But after a face to face meeting with Arnold at Hibernian’s training camp, Boyle had no second thoughts about where to place his loyalties.

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“I was contacted by the Scotland manager [Alex McLeish] but I feel the face to face with Arnie, who came to our training ground and had a real sit down with me… we were sitting down for a good 20 or 30 minutes about the possibility of playing for Australia,” he said.

“He seemed really keen to have me on board and the style of football that he wants to emulate and the group of boys that he said he was bringing in… the football really attracted me.

“He said that I’d suit the system really well. I feel like I can bring a lot to this team,” Boyle said.

Boyle has taken part in three training sessions during the team’s Dubai training camp this week as the Hibernian man looks to familiarise himself with the Caltex Socceroos set up.

The former Scotland U16 junior has never set foot on Australian soil, but he’s hoping to rectify that with selection in the Caltex Socceroos’ November fixtures against Korea Republic and Lebanon.

Caltex Socceroos Training in Dubai

Crucially, Boyle is confident he’ll be a great asset to Arnold as the Caltex Socceroos boss fosters the team’s evolution on the field before the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

“Arnie likes fast, direct players and I think I can bring something different to the team,” he continued.

“I like to make the channel runs and movement in behind. I’m really just a defender’s nightmare.

“I feel like I’ve got good movement. The way I play at Hibernian is that I just continuously get the ball and run at defenders.

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“Nobody likes that - you can ask any defender. I just like being as positive as I can. My club team are saying that if I lose the ball nine times, just keep getting the ball and being as positive as you can."

Milos Degenek