Scottish born Socceroos Martin Boyle has revealed that he always had an ambition to play for the Socceroos.
Before the Hibernian winger made his debut for the Socceroos in the two game friendly series against Korea Republic and Lebanon, the 25-year-old had never set foot on Australian soil.
But since making his national team bow not only does he have two more national team goals than Scott McDonald but he also knows the words to the Australian national anthem.
After scoring a brace and producing an assist in Tim Cahill’s farewell match, Boyle – whose father was born in Australia – revealed that he had eyes on wearing the green and gold from the start.
“Having roots with my father being born in Balmain, I spoke to him and it’s been in the back of my mind I was always going to do it,” he said.
Swapping allegiance to another country has its perils but Boyle said the feedback in Scotland has been great.
“Everything in Scotland has been positive. Everyone is backing me 100%," he said. "It’s not been negative at all.
“Obviously I spoke to the [Scotland] national manger about Australia giving me a call but I sat down with Arnie and after 45 minutes, he sold it to me.
"With Jamie Maclaren coming in a couple of years ago, it really just happened quickly. Arnie came over and he took a chance on me when no one else did and I’m grateful for what he’s done.”
Boyle also revealed that the first time he felt like he was a bona fide member of the Socceroos was during a team bonding session.
“When I was singing the national anthem during the initiation in front of the team, I had the song rehearsed for ages," he said
“When I got up there and got a standing ovation from the boys I knew I was part of the family and that is what Tim Cahill said on the night.”
After flying halfway across the world to play for his adopted country, Boyle admitted his head was still spinning at the events of the past week.
“Playing for Australia has not really sunk in yet,” he said. “If someone told me this was going to be happening five months ago, I would have laughed at you.
“This has been surreal at the moment and I’m just taking it day by day. I’m really privileged at the point I’m in at the moment.
“I’ll keep working hard in training and in the games and I can only get better.
“When I go back and play for Hibs, I will be as positive as I can as I have started the season well and I will enjoy myself and do what I can for the team. “