First team

Boycie: Greek odyssey will be key

30 August 2023

Liam Boyce says the prospect of a historic European triumph with Hearts is the only motivating the Jambos need ahead of tomorrow’s UECL second-leg clash with PAOK.


The Northern Irishman was speaking on the eve of tomorrow’s winner-takes-all shootout with the Greek giants at the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki tomorrow.


After an ACL injury kept him sidelined for the entirety of the men in maroon’s group stage campaign last season. With just one more win required to return to the European stage, Boycie says the Jambos are raring to go.


"From the game last week, we know how good the players are at this level,” he told the media ahead of the game. “There's good players in this team. If we can work well together, we can take advantage in those crucial situations.


"The difference was a corner. We know it's going to be difficult, but we're going to give everything we have. I can only speak for myself, obviously. I'm looking forward to it because I missed so much of last season.


"I missed the group stages last season, and the one thing I hadn't done for Hearts was play in Europe. I'll be giving everything I can. As footballers, it's not something you think about until after your career.


"If we can win, it's a memory that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It's the kind of things that the fans will remember you for.


"I've experienced it before playing in warm conditions, especially with Northern Ireland. We know it's going to be difficult and have to play certain ways at certain times. We'll get our breath and energy back and be as well prepared as we can.”