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Martin Boyle: £3m Hibs to Al-Faisaly switch star’s first strike partner recalls formative years at Montrose

Made in Montrose? Former teammate Garry Wood believes the Gable endies made the £3m man what he is today.
Made in Montrose? Former teammate Garry Wood believes the Gable endies made the £3m man what he is today.

One of Martin Boyle’s first strike partners Gary Wood believes Montrose was the perfect grounding for the £3 million attacker.

The Australian international completed a lucrative move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Faisaly from Hibs last week, where he is reportedly to earn £1.5m a year.

Boyle’s move to the Middle East was about 10 years in the making after starting his career off at Montrose, where he used to car share with fellow Aberdonian Garry Wood.

A young Martin Boyle in 2012.
A young Martin Boyle in 2012.

There he was given his chance of first team football at the tender age of 16.

“He was young back then but he was in the first team,” recalls Wood, who now plays for Brechin City. “When I signed for Montrose, he was my strike partner.

“We worked quite well together; me being the bigger target man and his pace was frightening, he made my life easier.”

‘Good player, really raw’

Boyle hit the ground running with Mo and in his second full season he was the Third Division’s top scorer, despite the Links Park side finishing in 8th place in 2011/12.

That showing earned him a move to Dundee where he helped the side win the Championship, before attracting interest at Easter Road.

Former Montrose striker Garry Wood.
Former Montrose striker Garry Wood.

Wood always knew his teammate had the makings of a top talent.

“He was a really good player; he was very raw in those days but you could tell he had something,” he said.

“We played Annan at home once and he ended up scoring four.

Boyle tussles with David Templeton in when Montrose took on Rangers at Ibrox in 2013.
Boyle tussles with David Templeton in when Montrose took on Rangers at Ibrox in 2013.

“You could tell he’d go on to have a good career in the game.”

Boyle got his first move in football to Dens Park in the summer of 2012 at the age of 19. By then he already had more than 70 first team appearances under his belt.

Woods believes it was this exposure to the game which led him on the path to success.

“Montrose is a good club,” he said. “It was the perfect opportunity for him to play first team football at that young age.

Boyle helped Dundee to the Championship title in 2014.
Boyle helped Dundee to the Championship title in 2014.

“If you see other youngsters at that age coming through youth academies, they’ll not be playing in the first team like he did.

“He’d probably say that himself, it was a great start for him.”

‘Always skint’

As Boyle takes on a new chapter in his career in the Saudi Pro League, his former teammate wishes him all the best – but looks forward to catching up with him again at some point.

“I do still speak to him now and then,” Wood said.

Ex-teammate Garry Wood always knew Martin Boyle would go on to be a star.
Ex-teammate Garry Wood always knew Martin Boyle would go on to be a star.

“I always used to joke with him that I would get him a move, it maybe took him a bit longer to get it.

“I’m delighted for him to have got that big move – he’ll be rolling in it.

“He was always skint when he was at Montrose, so I’ll maybe get that drink he owes me now.”

Montrose January business is done says Stewart Petrie as he explains importance of quick transfer window work

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