New Socceroo hero flying after hot start

Martin Boyle has been impressive for the Socceroos in his two appearances.
Martin Boyle has been impressive for the Socceroos in his two appearances.

New Socceroo star Martin Boyle has passed the anthem test with flying colours, and he's still flying following a huge first week of action for Australia.

Scottish-born Boyle, whose father was born in Sydney, made an instant impression in the Socceroos jersey with his direct running and nose for goal.

He laid on a late equaliser in his debut off the bench against South Korea last Saturday and scored two goals and set up the other in Australia's 3-0 win over Lebanon on Tuesday in his first start.

"It's not really sunk in yet, if someone told me this was going to happen five months ago I would have laughed at you,"' Boyle said.

"Probably when I get on the flight home, it will all just come flooding back, but I'm extremely proud to represent this country."

The moment Boyle felt he arrived as a Socceroo was when he had to belt out Advance Australia Fair in his initiation in front of his new teammates.

"When I got up there and I got a standing ovation from the boys I knew I was part of the family," Boyle said.

At a time when Australian fans are fretting over who will score goals in the post-Tim Cahill era, Boyle presented himself as a forward option at the imminent Asian Cup.

"I like to be as positive as I can. I like to take players on. I like to score goals," Boyle said.

Boyle hasn't experienced any backlash in Scotland over his decision to represent Australia.

"Everything has been positive, everyone has been backing me 100 per cent. It's not been negative at all," Boyle said..

Scotland manager Alex McLeish did contact him but Boyle said Socceroos coach Graham Arnold had sold him on the idea of playing for Australia.

"A lot of credit goes to Arnie. If he didn't take the journey over to Edinburgh to see me I wouldn't be here. I'm grateful for everything he's done for me,' Boyle said.

Arnold didn't need a long look at Boyle to know he was international material.

"When I went to Hibs to see Mark Milligan and Jamie McLaren and I spent a day there and watching him train, it was a no-brainer - if I could convince him to play for Australia," Arnold said.

"To be honest I didn't have to work too hard to convince him, he was very keen to do it and he's fitted into the group so well."

Australian Associated Press