Boyle open to A-League return, but focused on Socceroos

Justin Chadwick |

Martin Boyle is a big chance to be in the starting side when the Socceroos take on Palestine.
Martin Boyle is a big chance to be in the starting side when the Socceroos take on Palestine.

Star winger Martin Boyle has left the door ajar for an A-League homecoming, but for now he’s fully focused on ensuring the Socceroos maintain their perfect World Cup qualifying record.

Boyle is a strong chance to be in the starting side when the Socceroos face Palestine at Perth’s HBF Park on Tuesday night.

The Socceroos are already guaranteed passage through to the next round of World Cup qualifying, having won all five of their matches and posting a for-and-against goal record of 17-0.

Palestine have also snared a berth in the next phase as the second best team in Group I, having posted two wins, two draws and a loss across five games.

The only goal they conceded came in a 1-0 loss to Australia in Kuwait in November.

Boyle wants to cement himself as a first-choice player in the Socceroos’ set-up, but he faces a big decision about what to do next at club level.

The 31-year-old has one more year remaining on his contract at Scottish outfit Hibernian, who parted ways with two managers – including former Central Coast coach Nick Montgomery – during a disappointing 2023/24 campaign. 

Boyle has stated his desire to play in the A-League one day, and he’s been linked recently to Melbourne City and Perth Glory.

But whether the Scottish-born Australian feels the time is right for such a big move remains to be seen.

“I’ll get this (Socceroos) game out of the way and head back to my club,” Boyle said on Monday.

“I know there’s been a lot of speculation. I’m still under contract, and as far as it stands I’ll be at Hibernian.

“If anything changes, it changes.

“I said a few years ago it’s an aim of mine to play in the A-League. When that will happen, I’m not really sure.

“I have two young children who are at school … pulling them out would be a shame on my point.

“But the family have backed me through my career for the whole time. If we feel it’s right, then there’d be no doubt in our minds we’d make it happen.”

Boyle described world No.93 Palestine as a physical, well-gelled side.

Australia could only manage a 2-0 win over Bangladesh last week, despite dominating possession and having 15 shots to two.

Boyle said it was up to the attacking players to make the most of their chances.

“First and foremost we have to be more clinical,” Boyle said. 

“We’ve had a lot of chances in the last few games, and we need to take those chances when they come.

“As attacking players we have to take responsibility, and given that opportunity we have to make sure the ball goes in the back of the net.”