Martin Boyle: My Hibs mate Ryan Porteous will be fine if he just concentrates on football

A dynamic duo, in the dressing room and in training they served up mischief and laughter, while on the pitch they were two of Hibs most influential players.

Martin Boyle broke up the band when he joined Al Faisaly in January but despite the fact that Harmah City is over 4,000 miles from Edinburgh, he has continued to look out for his former cohort Ryan Porteous and reached out last week as the young centre-back became embroiled in negative headlines due to some downtime drama.

“Some days I miss Porto and some days I don’t,” he said, tongue in cheek. “I would say he is missing me more than I’m missing him. He is always FaceTiming me and seems a bit sad.

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“There has been a lot of talk about him and I messaged him to make sure he is OK. I think the important message to him is to just keep his head down, keep working hard and keep showing what a good player he is, and try to put this nonsense behind him.

Hibs defender Ryan Porteous with his former team-mate Martin Boyle. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

“I’m sure the big man will be fine if he just concentrates on his football.”

Porteous was charged in connection with an alleged assault outside a Dalkeith bar last month and, in a separate incident, was allegedly caught on camera with a group who stole a memorial wreath from a Midlothian garden. Pointing out that the defender is still a young man, Boyle has backed his former team-mate to navigate his way through the controversy.

“Ryan is a strong guy, he has a strong character and he is a true leader so he will take it on the chin.

“He has already had the captain’s armband this season, which gave him more responsibility and was good for him because he is a lifelong Hibs fan and I’m sure that when this all blows over, he will come out the other side stronger and more focused and I'm sure he will flourish.

“Hopefully, he will learn from it and if he keeps performing well for Hibs there is no doubt he will be an internationalist and he could get a big move soon. He is a terrific guy and he is a great player.”

Schooled by his own mistakes as a younger man, Boyle went on to become one of Hibs’ most valued players, and having gained international kudos with Australia is seeking a World Cup appearance, as well as enjoying a multi-million pound contract in Saudi Arabia.

“Sometimes you do get sucked into that life of going out and enjoying yourself, I was the same. You forget that people are looking up to you, they know who you are and you have a certain responsibility because how you act reflects on you and your family but also the club.

“I made mistakes and regretted them but I realised it was important for me to keep my head down and continue what I was doing and I worked hard to regain the trust of the people I let down. It is important to let your football do the talking.

“I’m not saying you can’t enjoy yourself, I certainly did at that age, but with social media it is a lot more difficult. You have to watch yourself.”

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