By James Rowe – @JamesRoweNL – Chief Football Writer
You signed for Hibernian FC in 2015. How are you enjoying your time at the club so far and how would you describe a club such as Hibernian FC?
My time at Hibernian FC has been brilliant so far. When I arrived at the club they were in the Scottish Championship and I took a step down in terms of level when I joined the club. I did not realise myself personally how big Hibernian FC really was until the guys filled me in and to be fair I have been loving my time since I have been at the club.
Hibernian FC have a great fan base and a fantastic training facility. It is incredible and I have achieved quite a lot since I have been at the club. Hibernian FC manage to attract a lot of good players the facilities the club provide help players to push on and develop to be the best player that you can and I have enjoyed every minute of my time at the club since I arrived.
You played three seasons for Dundee FC. How do you look back on your time at the club and you you have any highlights or special memories?
I feel that my time at Dundee FC was quite a successful one. I managed to win a trophy when we won the Scottish Championship and got promoted. I was not really established in the Scottish Premier League as such and I managed to get a few games under my belt before I went to Hibernian FC.
I made the jump from Montrose to Dundee FC who were in the Scottish Premier League at the time and I feel like it was a massive step for me at the time and subsequently jumping back down to the Scottish Championship with Hibernian FC was probably the best thing that could have happened to me and every season that has gone on I have developed different attributes, progressed my game and played much more regularly. I enjoyed my time at Dundee FC even though it was strange how I moved on as Dundee FC were in the top six at the time and I went to a then Championship team in Hibernian FC but these things happen and I do not look back. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Dundee FC and likewise now at Hibernian FC.
You have been capped at international level by Australia. How do you look back on representing your country and what are your highlights and memories of playing international football so far?
My time with Australia has been great so far. The positives so far have been playing in the Asia Cup and with the Corona virus situation we could have played a lot more games and been to a major tournament in the summer. Looking back on my four caps so far and I made my debut against a very good South Korea team in Brisbane which was unbelievable.
I started against Lebanon in Sydney, scored two goals and provided an assist which was brilliant. The manner in which my Australian teammates and back room staff have accepted me in; they have really showed faith in me and the manager has put his trust in me, even going away with the squad to Jordan having come back from a serious injury at the time I had not started a game for Hibernian FC and he picked me because he knew what I was capable of. He showed a lot of trust in my ability which is good. The whole time that I was injured they (Australian national team) gave me advice and people have even been flying to the UK to see how I am getting on as well as looking at other players.
The whole setup is an elite level, which is incredible. I am very honoured to put on the Australian shirt and represent the country and think that I am still in disbelief that I have made that step up to international football and played competitive games. Hopefully, I can attain my level of fitness and there will be more games to come in future.
You have accrued experience of Scottish football as well as international football with Australia. could you say who are among the best players you have played alongside so far in your career?
I have been quite lucky to play with some very good players. The highlight would be John McGinn; he has gone on to do incredible things considering he came from St Mirren to Hibernian FC and the journey that he has taken. He was flying for Aston Villa in the Premier League before his injury, so Aston Villa have been a good step for him.
I also play with Scott Allan at Hibernian FC who has been brilliant. I think in terms of ability wise I played with Anthony Stokes who is undoubtedly a talented player. Obviously, at international level with Australia the likes of Aaron Mooy and Matt Ryan in goal, his distribution as a goalkeeper is probably better than mine. I have been fortunate to play with many players that have made a step up in their careers and hopefully I can make that step as well and push my career further.
I can imagine in your position as a winger that you have come up against some difficult opponents so far in your career, could you say which opponents have stood out for you in terms of talent and ability?
I think when playing against ‘Old Firm’ teams and when playing against the likes of Virgil van Dijk when he played for Celtic FC before he moved on to Liverpool FC and also the likes of Victor Wanyama and Scott Brown with what he has achieved in Scottish football.
When I was a Dundee FC we played against Manchester City in a pre season game and there was a lot of superstars in that team. I was lucky enough to play against Samir Nasri and he is a brilliant player. I would say the players I have mentioned are among the standout names who have played at the highest level.
Finally Martin, could you say who are the coaches and managers that have meant a lot to you and played a key role in your development as a professional footballer?
I have been lucky to have played under some great managers. To be honest they have all helped to develop my career and I have not a bad word to say about any of my managers. I have been fortunate to have some quality managers and every manager has given me advice from my Montrose days Ray Farningham gave me first team football as a 16 year old which was fantastic.
At Dundee FC the likes of Barry Smith gave me the opportunity to sign for a Scottish Premier League team and then Paul Hartley came in and he gave me the opportunity to play every week. Alan Stubbs brought me to a massive club in Hibernian FC and we won the Scottish Cup which was brilliant even though I was a bit part player at the time and I learned an awful lot from him and after that Neil Lennon came in and I would say that is when I had my best spell of football in my career.
Neil Lennon is a massive name in football and he gave me the freedom to play which was good and I learned a lot from him and our current manager Jack Ross is exactly the same and I have picked up where I left off under previous managers and hopefully I can develop under Jack Ross even more as time goes on.