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27 August 2020 00:46

Rangers F.C. Steve Clarke Jermain Defoe

martin boyle

Martin Boyle has promised that his best is yet to come after signing a new deal with high-flying Hibs. Boyle, 27, last night ended speculation regarding his future by penning an extension which keeps him at Easter Road until the summer of 2023. Boyle beamed: "I still think my best years are ahead of me. We've given ourselves something to build on for the rest of the season and I'd love to add a few more highs to the ones I've already enjoyed." Boyle initially joined Hibs on loan from Dundee in January 2015 before making the switch permanent six months later, and has enjoyed a swathe of successes in Edinburgh. The former Montrose man has scored 36 goals in that time, written his name into Hibee history by lifting the Scottish Cup in 2016 and won the Scottish Championship title.

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Boyle inked his new deal mere days after his wife, Rachael, extended her stay with Hibs' women's team - and he can barely believe how far he has come since his days as a part-timer at Links Park. It was only yesterday that Rachael signed her own deal with Hibernian Women, and it was an easy decision for the pair of us to make. Boyle has already contributed two goals to Hibs' blistering start to the campaign. And the Easter Ross gaffer could barely contain his delight that Hibs' star-man is going nowhere. Ross added: "I value Martin's contribution to the team, but I think that extends to the whole club.

He's a larger than life character. It's easy to dismiss that as a laugh and a joke but it's the kind of thing that can pull others along when the going gets tough. "Martin also works incredibly hard on his game and that shouldn't be overlooked. He's matured into a player of real quality." Boyle who joined the Edinburgh club in 2015 has become a key member of a Hibs side that have got off to a flying start to the new season, sitting in second spot on the table, only behind Rangers on goal difference. The 27-year-old has bounced back well from a serious knee injury that kept him out of last year's Asian Cup campaign and his current deal was due to expire next June. "I'm really pleased to have signed the new contract and it's no secret what the club means to me and my family," Boyle told the Hibernian official website. "The last time I was there was 10 years ago as a Montrose player. It's been some journey since, and I still think my best years are ahead of me. "We've given ourselves something to build on for the rest of the season and I'd love to add a few more highs to the ones I've already enjoyed." Hibs coach Jack Ross said he was delighted to have secured Boyle's services for an extended period. "I've said often enough how much I value Martin's contribution to the team, but I think that extends to the whole club," Ross said. "He's a larger than life character. It's easy to dismiss that as a laugh and a joke but it's the kind of thing that can pull others along when the going gets tough. "Martin also works incredibly hard on his game and that shouldn't be overlooked. He's matured into a player of real quality." Martin Boyle hasn't quite managed to replicate his form of the first match - but he will come bouncing back, says Michael Weir After the lengthy lay-off from the coronavirus pandemic, there will have been a lot of players whose enthusiasm to get back to playing will have carried them through the first couple of games, then they've hit a lull, but they'll come back stronger for it. Martin Boyle got off to a brilliant start against Kilmarnock and has faded a bit since, but it's not easy for the players. The circumstances they've been through mean a lot of the players aren't quite there yet and I would never criticise a footballer after that sort of lay-off. For some players it will take them eight, nine, ten games for them to be fully up to speed. I've spoken a lot about wide players and I've always said that creative players are so important in teams. They've got to be at their best to create chances for their team-mates. Watching the games so far this season, I just think a lot of players just aren't quite there yet in terms of full match fitness. I fully believe that, in another month or two, we'll start seeing the best of these players. I think we'll see a big difference in terms of fitness. The season always starts around Christmas time and that's when we start to get a real feel for things. A lot of the players aren't quite there yet and it'll be four or five weeks at least before they start to look back to their best. It could be that Boyle's contract situation is weighing on his mind - that can happen to any football player - but I don't see it that way, I think the lad's giving all he's got at the moment but everything is a bonus right now. Players are just getting through the games and no more. On Sunday I can't remember one midfield player getting into the box and getting on the end of a cross and that tells me a lot. But I'm delighted Hibs got all three points and hopefully the performances pick up soon as well. Aberdeen will be the biggest challenge for Hibs so far this season. I think this will be the one that tells us how far the team have come. I think Hibs are capable of giving the Dons a good game - Derek McInnes' side are proven in the league, they know how to win games, and they've got the experience of winning games like Sunday's meeting. They struggled at the start but got a result against Livingston, and then St Johnstone, so they look stronger than they did. The game will be a good gauge for Hibs' chances of breaking into the top four, and it will be interesting to see the reaction to last Sunday. The players had a bad performance against Motherwell and didn't play particularly well against St Johnstone but still got the result.