Martin Boyle talks to the Early Kick-Off, Friday 6pm & 10pm AEST beIN 3 | via Foxtel, Kayo Sports, Fetch TV & beIN SPORTS CONNECT
Having spent most of his career as a creator rather than a scorer, Australia winger Martin Boyle suddenly finds himself in unfamiliar territory - leading the way in Scotland’s goal scoring charts.
The in-form attacker has netted five goals in six Premiership appearances for second-placed Hibernian, just seven less than his tally of 12 for the whole of last season.
Add his strike for the Socceroos in their recent 3-0 romp over China, and three more in Europa League qualifiers, and Boyle’s figures are even more eye-catching.
But what is the secret? Is there a mysterious new additive in the water at Easter Road? Has a celestial football being bestowed him with cosmic powers?
The truth, of course, is far more prosaic.
It al started for the Scottish Premiership’s player of the month with a pre-season pow-wow with Hibs coach Jack Ross, who gave Boyle the freedom to float across the final third, whist hammering home the mantra that he could, and should, improve his goal output.
“It was important for me to continue from where I left off last season, to try and get the same numbers or even better,” Boyle told beIN SPORTS. “I’ve been given a lot of freedom to express myself and being top scorer is a bit different for me - but if I can stay up there then happy days.
“The manager sat me down as far back as the start of last season and told me where he wanted me to be in terms of getting my goals and assists up, and thankfully I’ve been doing that.
“I think it’s down to the gaffer and where is sees me playing, picking up different positions on the pitch and being as positive as I can.
“I’m in a good place at the moment and so is the team.
“We’ve made a strong start to the season and we couldn’t have asked for much more.”
Before the 20-21 season, Boyle had only ever hit double figures once in his 11-year professional career.
The reward for his rise to prominence came in the form of a recent contract extension until 2024, after the Edinburgh club rejected an offer from his hometown team Aberdeen.
Bigger fish might yet try and reel him in should Boyle continue his recent hot streak.
Not that he’s planning on anything beyond helping Hibernian stay among the pacesetters, and Australia qualify for Qatar 2022.
“I’ve just committed to a new contract, and whilst there was some speculation, I’m happy here, my family’s happy here and Hibs have been good to me,” Boyle said. “Fortunately I’ve been doing the business for them in return.”
At the age of 28, Boyle has plenty of milestones still to chase but would consider an A-League adventure at the back end of his career.
“I’m not getting any younger and it’s something I’d like to experience one day, if the right opportunity were to arise,” he said.