Socceroos winger Martin Boyle’s has vowed to ignite in the scorching summer heat of Kuwait, insisting searing June temperatures won’t deter him or his teammates from powering through their FIFA World Cup qualification group.
Leaders Australia face the hosts, Nepal, Taiwan and Jordan in an AFC-mandated Group B hub over 16 days, with Boyle unconcerned by the prospect of playing and training in melting 35-40 degree conditions.
The Hibernian attacker admits he’s never faced such oppressive temperatures, outside of chilling out on an overseas family vacation.
But he is adamant he’ll be ready to replicate his imposing club form after enduring a stop-start 28 months since his national team debut.
“I can’t say I’ve played in those types of temperatures before but it’s going to be the same for everyone,” Boyle told The World Game.
“I’m sure it won’t faze me. I’ll acclimatise weeks before coming over to make sure I’m ready for it.
“Yes, we’re facing a lot of games but we’ve missed a lot of games.
“We’re all just dying to get back playing for Australia in what will be a mini-tournament.
“We know the conditions will be challenging but we’ll be out there taking it to each and every opponent, and our expectations are high.”
Boyle, 27, is stacking up career-best stats for Hibs as they hunt a Europa League spot, netting 11 times along with seven assists in 32 appearances.
Whilst he’s scored twice in four Socceroos appearances, a recurring knee injury, first suffered in a warm-up match for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, rubbed him out for a combined 10 months. And then Covid came along.
His most recent cap came in Australia’s last match, a 1-0 win over Jordan in Amman 16 months ago which saw Boyle grab a 17-minute cameo off the bench.
“It’s been a bit challenging for me with my injuries (regarding the national team) and then of course Covid stalled everything,” he added.
“But that’s only made me more determined to deliver on the pitch for Australia.
“I’ve been in good nick lately and hopefully I can bring that form into the national team and show people what I’m really made of.
“I think it’s fair to say I’m playing some of my best club football right now.”
Boyle was never one for setting pre-season targets, more a speedy, instinctual performer happy to play much of his football off-the-cuff.
But that changed this season, as he fathomed a way to boost his end product.
“I’ve always just enjoyed being on the pitch and playing,” he said.
“But I also knew the time was coming when I had to look at my stats and get my goals and assists up.
“That’s what I’m doing at the moment and of course I’m relishing the way it’s been working out.”
Australia have taken maximum points from four games, two clear of Kuwait who have played a game more.
They tackle Kuwait on June 3 before games against Taiwan and Nepal. Their final match comes on June 15 against Jordan.