Four years ago Martin Boyle hadn’t even been to Australia, now the Scottish-born winger wants to become a Socceroos legend.
Thanks to a Sydney-born father, Boyle was shock call-up for his Socceroos debut in November 2018.
Since that appearance at Suncorp Stadium against South Korea in a friendly just days after arriving in Australia for the first time, Boyle has gone on to become a mainstay of Arnold’s plans during the Socceroos World Cup qualifying campaign.
The 29-year-old has gone on to score five goals in 16 appearances, including three goals so far on the road to this year’s World Cup.
Australia’s hopes of reaching a fifth-straight World Cup hinge on two must-win play-off matches in Doha over the next week and a half.
First up is a clash with the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday (Weds 0400 AEST).
Win that game and it’s on to a winner-takes-all encounter with Peru on June 13 (0400 June 14 AEST).
For Boyle, the chance to make history for his new country is firmly in his mind heading into the game against the UAE.
“The idea of qualifying for a World Cup considering where I’ve come from in my career, I’d say that’s a bit surreal,” Boyle said.
“Obviously making the change, I don’t regret anything that I’ve done and they’ve made me feel welcome.
“I like to think every time I’ve put on the jersey I’ve given 100 per cent and I’ve done quite well.
“These games coming up, this is where you can definitely make yourself a legend and put your name in the books.”
Boyle can also salvage some pride for the land of his birth after Scotland’s own World Cup dream was ended by Ukraine in a play-off last Wednesday (Thursday AEST).
“I’ve got a few old teammates that I played with at Hibs that were in the squad,” said Boyle, who is now based in Saudi Arabia with Al-Faisaly.
“Obviously it wasn’t an ideal situation for them but the way Ukraine played … they wanted it more.
“They’ve got a lot going on and stuff like that so I’d say it’s good for them to do it but obviously disappointing for Scotland.
“I didn’t watch the game. I’ve only seen the highlights and my full focus is only on Australia and being here.”