By Daniel Lang- Managing Director
On a night where a crowd of more than 33,000 turned up at the former Olympic stadium to bid farewell to Tim Cahill, did we witness the birth of Australia's next talismanic Socceroos star?
In a somewhat blunt 'out with the old, in with the new' approach to summing up Australia's 3-0 triumph over a haphazard and underdone Lebanon side, it's safe to say coach Graham Arnold's bid to lure the Scottish born star to represent the Socceroos is already paying dividends.
Cahill, himself the master behind so many of Australia's greatest moments on the world stage was given a brief cameo from the bench late on, but it was the lethal performance that preceded it by Boyle who scored a brace and set up a third goal that set tongues wagging at full-time.
Love him or hate him, respect his contribution to football but not so much his legacy when it comes to avoiding club football in Australia for as long as possible or bailing out at the first opportunity, it is hard to deny the impact Tim Cahill has had on Australian football across his 108 caps and while the last of those will go down more as the #ThanksTim footnote it was than a classic effort, the chance to see how Martin Boyle fits into the blueprint moving forward is an exciting prospect.
Currently plying his trade back home in Scotland for Hibernian, the former Montrose and Dundee striker looks the perfect fit for an Australian side that has lacked a cutting edge and a genuine goal-scoring threat for some time.
It is, of course, important to remember the quality of Tuesday night's opposition was not of the standard Australia expects to compete with at the highest levels of World and Asian Cups, but a poacher capable of finding the back of the net with some regularity will excite plenty down under after a fairly barren spell.
Cahill aside, Josh Kennedy probably looms as the Socceroo's last genuine goal-scoring threat while the days of Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell and well and truly in the rear view mirror meaning the arrival of the erstwhile Martin Boyle could not have come at a better time as the Graham Arnold revolution begins to take flight.
Boyle's pace and verve also came as a stark contrast to Arnold's other options. Jamie Maclaren has plenty of wraps on his ability, but he was not able to impress Bert van Marwijk enough to make an impact on the World Cup in Russia while Tomi Juric has failed to take the position by the scruff of the neck and make it his own during his many opportunities.
Thrown into a front three with the aforementioned Juric and Awer Mabil, Boyle had Australian looking fluid, pacey and, ultimately threatening for much of the night.
There was no fairy-tale swansong goal from Cahill, but the birth of Martin Boyle as a Socceroos icon will whet the appetite of the Australian faithful well enough.