Martin Boyle on Hibs 'heart attack football' as he reveals area where Nick Montgomery is 'best I've seen'

Martin Boyle during a Hibernian training session at the Hibernian Training Centre, on December 08, 2023. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)Martin Boyle during a Hibernian training session at the Hibernian Training Centre, on December 08, 2023. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Martin Boyle during a Hibernian training session at the Hibernian Training Centre, on December 08, 2023. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Australia international reflects on hitting 300 appearances for Hibs

Martin Boyle has branded the current brand of football at Hibs as “heart attack football” but as someone who has seen it all after 300 appearances for the Easter Road club, he has bought into what manager Nick Montgomery is trying to do and has urged fans to be patient.

Patience has certainly paid off for the 30-year-old forward, who says he wasn’t quite sure what to expect when he signed for the club back at the beginning of 2015.

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The initial switch from Dens Park was a loan deal but it was soon made permanent as the Leith outfit recognised how big an asset he could prove.

And, while the club has endured ups and downs and managers have come and gone since then, Boyle’s stock has only grown at club and international level, despite some injury setbacks.

A firm favourite with the fans, team-mates and a succession of Easter Road bosses, he made his 300th appearance for the club on Wednesday night and says he is now focused on adding to that tally and to the club’s trophy haul before he eventually ends his association with the Easter Road side.

“I never knew until Tuesday when I was told. I don’t think many people were aware. I told my dad and he was buzzing. So yeah, it’s a nice feeling. I don’t think I expected to reach so many games. But credit to myself, I’ve worked hard. Hopefully I can add a lot more appearances to that.”

Already contributing 74 goals and 57 assists throughout his Hibs career and gaining over 20 international caps for Australia, he has ruled out catching team-mates Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon who are currently fourth and fifth on the club’s all-time appearance list with a hefty 593 and 553 respectively but that does not stop him acknowledging how mutually-beneficial his stints at the club have been.

“That’s impossible! I’m getting too old for that. Those lads are on their way to two testimonials, I’m just trying to get one! They’re in a league of their own. For me, it could have, should have been more without my injuries but it’s a nice milestone for me and I am happy to have achieved what I have here.

“I have probably played my best football here, my family is settled and I’ve even converted my dad from a Hearts fan to a Hibs fan, so happy days! It’s all good.

“It’s just a feelgood club for me, it just clicks. I just want to do as best as I can here. It was a no brainer to come back [after a lucrative six-month spell at Al Faisaly in the Saudi Professional League] and I have settled in perfectly. I just want to keep giving more.”

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A talismanic member of the squad, he has picked up player of the year awards and helped the club to promotion and Scottish Cup success, and played his part in securing European nights. But he says he was unsure what the future would bring when he first enlisted.

“I don’t know what I was expecting. I remember asking Kevin Thomson and James McPake about Hibs and what it was like and they said it was a no brainer. I came here and I haven’t looked back.

“I had that injury and I was out of contract and the club showed faith in me to give me a contract and I have kicked on ever since.

“I have been through a lot of managers and stuff but I feel like every season I have managed to progress, which is great.”

Having broken through at international level, since aligning himself with Australia, he has also been hamstrung with injuries, being forced to sit out a World Cup and an Asian Cup. But he is crossing his fingers that come January he will be playing rather than serving as vibes manager when Graham Arnold’s men will head back to Qatar for the latest continental competition.

“As soon as I was back playing, I sacked that role. The most important thing is playing and that’s what I want to be doing. This will hopefully be the third tournament lucky for me. It has been a bit of a nightmare over recent years but I will be looking forward to it. Hopefully I can keep doing well here and make it into the squad.

“Equally, I’m pleased to be reaching 23 caps when not many years ago I didn’t think I would achieve that.”

Having seen good times and bad since his first appearance in green and white, there’s a degree of optimism that the best could yet be ahead of him and the club, even if the adjustments to the style of football under Montgomery is taking some time for some to adapt to.

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“The manager has us buying into his ideas. He’s been here 11-12 weeks and been fantastic for me. You can see the buzz around the place. We just need a bit more patience.

“You can see what we’re trying to do on the pitch. Sometimes it’s great to watch, sometimes it’s heart attack football! But stick by us and I am sure when he gets more of his ideas across it will be a really effective way of playing.”

And, even on international duty, the work to educate is ongoing, reveals Boyle.

“The other boys get battered when we’re away. But they are also sending us videos and information, and there’s zoom calls, so we are always in the loop. They video training every day so we can watch it back. So, all the information is there and we are very clued up when we get back. It’s not a case of walking into the unknown.

“The attention to detail has probably been the best I have seen from a manager. We are taking it on board and hopefully we can push for that third spot.”



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