To-be Socceroo Martin Boyle says Australia boss Graham Arnold won him over before pledging his allegiance to the green and gold.
Arnold visited Aberdeen-born Boyle, who has lived in Scotland his whole life and plays his club football with Hibernian, last month.
Boyle’s father was born in Sydney but emigrated to Scotland, meaning the 25-year-old is eligible to play for Australia.
The Hibs winger had been approached by Scotland but boss Alex McLeish was unable to guarantee him a spot, while Arnold wooed him during his visit to Edinburgh.
“Obviously I was contacted by the Scotland manager but I feel the face to face with Arnie (was crucial),” Boyle said.
“He came to our training ground and had a real sit-down with me. We were sitting for a good 20-30 minutes about the possibilities of going to Australia.
“He seemed really keen to have me on board.
“The style of football that he wants to emulate, the boys he said he was bringing in and the football really attracted me.
“He said I’ll fit into the system really well. I want to pursue that way and I feel I can bring a lot to this team.”
Boyle’s eligibility wasn’t well-known in Australia until recently and he has rapidly shot into Socceroos calculations, meaning most Australian football fans aren’t overly familiar with him.
He wasn’t short on confidence when he described himself as a player.
“I’m a pacey winger, quite tricky,” he said.
“I like to make channel runs and movement in behind.
“I’m a defender’s nightmare.
“Arnie likes fast different players and I think I can bring something different to the team.
“Obviously there’s some good wingers here at the moment but I think I can bring that real spark.
“I’m quite adaptable playing in wing-back situations, striker roles and I’m quite comfortable on the left as well. I think I can add a goal threat as well.
“Obviously I feel like I’ve got good movement. The way I play at Hibernian is to continuously get the ball and run at defenders. Nobody likes that. Ask any defender. I like being as positive as I can.”
Boyle has applied for Australian citizenship, which he hopes will be granted in time to play in November’s friendlies against South Korea and Lebanon.
He acknowledged he’d never been to Australia but said he was learning the Australian national anthem ahead of his potential November debut.
“It’s in my heritage and I wanted to pursue this environment of football,” Boyle said.
“I’ve been given this opportunity that some people never get. I want to give 100 per cent for this country. I want to do the best.”
Boyle has had three sessions with the Socceroos in their Dubai camp and has been impressed.
“It’s a completely different set-up to my club and the way Arnie wants to play football,” he said.
“The standard is really really high and I’m learning new things every day.”