Boyle ready to be Caltex Socceroos super sub says Arnold

Graham Arnold welcomed back the returning Martin Boyle and revealed the attacking ace will be used as an impact substitute if the Caltex Socceroos are in need.

The 26-year-old made a goalscoring return for Hibernian in a 2-2 draw against Livingston following three months on the sidelines with a knee injury sustained in July.

The Edinburgh-born son of a Sydneysider, Boyle scored twice on his first start for Australia in a 3-0 win against Lebanon in November 2018.

The three-cap Caltex Socceroo has only made two cameos for his Scottish Premier League side but, in those minutes from the bench, he showed the pace and energy that could prove to be a game-changer.

“It’s great to have Boyley back,” the Caltex Socceroos head coach said. 

“He has so much energy, on the pitch but also in the camp. He’s a great guy and to have him back finally is a great sign for us. 

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“He’s come off the bench only twice for Hibs for 15 to 20 minutes. I’ve had a good conversation with him, that’ll probably be his role for us if required. 

“He’s clear on that as well so we’re looking forward to having him back in camp again.”

Martin Boyle scores his first ever goal for the Caltex Socceroos

Arnold’s 24-player squad are set to arrive in the Middle East on Sunday ahead of the clash against Jordan at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman on Thursday, 14 November at 6pm local time, 3am on Friday, 15 November AEDT.

One player who will not be with the team immediately is Hertha Berlin winger Mathew Leckie, who is on stand-by to rush his pregnant wife to the maternity ward.

“We do know there’s a personal side and a human side to life and it’s a very important moment for Matthew and his wife and his family,” Arnold added. 

“If she doesn’t have it by Monday we’ll leave him with his wife for the birth of his child.”

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In addition to Boyle, Arnold has recalled fellow Scotland-based attacker Tom Rogic, as well as experienced defender Trent Sainsbury, goalkeeper Adam Federici and uncapped, but previous call-up, Kenny Dougall.

Another player returning after a 10-month absence is Josh Risdon, of Hyundai A-League newcomers Western United, and Arnold is excited to have the 14-cap full-back back on board.

“It’s what we’re looking for, it’s competition for places,” said Arnold. 

“It builds a healthy environment. Josh has done exceptionally well at Western United. 

“Mark Rudan has got him extremely fit and strong and he’s been doing well very at the start of the season.

“He comes back into the squad and it gives me two great players for one position in Rhyan Grant and himself. It’s what we’re looking for.”

Kayo free trial

One advantage to the location of the camp is the close-proximity for European-based players to travel.

It’s a factor which works to Arnold’s advantage, allowing the head coach an extra session with his Caltex Socceroos.

“Jordan away will be a great occasion for a lot of the players and I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

“For once it favours us that all of the boys overseas get a short travel into Jordan and they will all arrive on Sunday so we get that extra training session in that we don’t normally get in.

“It’s just about preparing for the game and being ready for the game. It’s one that we’re looking forward to.”

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