Life after Timmy: all-action Boyle emerges as new Caltex Socceroos hero

It was a fitting way for Martin Boyle to tribute the heart-felt welcome of an Australian legend.

Only hours after being gifted a signed Caltex Socceroos jersey by Tim Cahill, Boyle's brace in Australia's 3-0 win against Lebanon on Tuesday night has seen him emerge as a new hero.

As far as dream starting debuts go, you’ll be hard pressed to find one to rival this.

It was an all-action display from the diminutive 25-year-old, who demonstrated he possesses both the swagger and killer instinct in the final third to become a consistent danger for Graham Arnold’s side.

REPORT: Boyle hits double as Caltex Socceroos farewell Cahill in style against Lebanon
READ: 'He’s fit into the group so well': Arnie hails Boyle after eye-catching Lebanon display

Both these qualities were on display at ANZ Stadium, where the Hibernian attacker flourished as one of the ‘three number nines’ Arnold has addressed in recent weeks.

The diminutive forward led Australia in shots (five) and contested the most duels (17), as well as teeing up Mathew Leckie’s second half effort with a delightful clipped delivery.

However, it was his ability to be in the right space at the right time – just as Cahill has done for over a decade before him – that underlined why Boyle could be a key force in Arnold’s new-look Caltex Socceroos.

No wonder the 55-year-old quipped following the match that Boyle would make a fitting candidate for Cahill’s vacant no.4 jersey.

And as the AFC Asian Cup 2019 draws nearer, the performance of Tuesday night’s hero should allay any fears over Australia’s ability to hit the back of the net without their greatest ever goalscorer.