The returning Hibs hero did admit to making a small concession to perhaps more accepted forms of sporting nourishment when he rounded off his eve-of-match meal with a strawberry milkshake. This was because he had just been informed there was a chance he might feature against Hearts.
“There’s nothing like Scottish football, is there?” Boyle smiled at the post-match press conference.
He had just turned what was supposed to be a second unveiling into the definition of a second coming. Derby salvation was secured when he turned in new teammate Elie Youan’s well-executed cutback. It was the last touch of consequence in the game.
The extent of Boyle’s involvement was originally intended to be a quick wave to the fans. Hibs urged fans to arrive early to welcome him back. These supporters did not expect to see him in the club’s kit when he duly took the applause 15 minutes before kick-off, with Boyle having been named on the bench. With Hibs struggling following Lawrence Shankland’s opener after 22 minutes, it was only a matter of time until he was called upon.
Boyle’s 33-minute cameo was the first time he had kicked a ball competitively since June 28. He didn’t even know many of his new teammates’ names.
The goal – his first for Hibs since the last strike in a Hampden hat-trick v Rangers last November – arrived just in time.
Clearance was only obtained the night before the fixture. Boyle had already demolished a carbohydrate-busting plate of pasta and chips.
“I got the call last night after my homemade macaroni and chips,” he explained. “That’s when I went into panic mode and headed to Asda for a few bottles of water and a strawberry Yazoo.
“It was a bit bizarre,” he added. “The clearance came through, so I had to get up this morning and focus on the game and the rest is history.”
It certainly is. Boyle fleshed out the details of how the move back to Easter Road from Saudi club Al-Faisaly occurred. There was talk of him being a target for Aberdeen after he was recently spotted at Pittodrie for a Premier Sports Cup clash against Raith Rovers.
“It was always going to be Hibs,” he said. “There were photos of me in the Aberdeen end the other week but I was taking my nephews to the game as they are Aberdeen fans, so I’d like to clear that up! I was there with them and my brother-in-law.”
He said it was a “no brainer” when it emerged Hibs were interested and had the funds to bring him back. Boyle has no regrets about his Saudi sabbatical other than the relegation suffered by Al-Faisaly, although that seems to have triggered his release.
“I’ve come back to a competitive league and where I am adored by the fans and my family are happy and obviously to try and kick on and be in that World Cup squad is a big thing as well,” he said. “(But) I don’t regret it. I tried it. I would definitely encourage it.”
It sounds as if he now wants to finish his career at Hibs. The 29-year-old has signed a three-year deal.
“I’ve got a new child on the way, due in September,” he said. “All that mattered for me was to come back and settle down and enjoy the rest of my football years here.”