The fearless Aussie winning Hearts in Scotland

Getty Images

WATCH Cam Devlin's Hearts in the SPFL LIVE & ONLY on beIN SPORTS | Foxtel, Kayo Sports, Fetch TV, beIN SPORTS CONNECT

Ange Postecoglou and Tom Rogic proudly share the crown of Scotland’s two favourite Antipodeans.

Cam Devlin speaks to The Early Kick-Off! Friday, 6pm AEDT, beIN 3

 

But another Aussie is about to join them on the dais, with Hearts midfielder Cameron Devlin fast acquiring his own fan club in the Maroon half of Edinburgh. And beyond.

In a nation that values the virtues of tireless endeavour, melded with a devilish streak, the industrious Devlin has fitted the template perfectly in the five months since his arrival from Wellington Phoenix.

He’s missed just a single match - fittingly from suspension after accumulating six yellow cards - and is closing in on a maiden Socceroos call-up for the looming World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam and Oman.

Even Postecoglou is an unabashed advocate, telling Devlin, 23, he has “another level” in him during a warm embrace after Celtic had edged Hearts 1-0 in the Scottish Premiership last month.

Humble off the field but a bounty hunter on it, Devlin has a wide-eyed appreciation of his rapidly acquired Tynecastle Park folk hero status.

Supporters have even dedicated a song to him, baiting opposition players with the chant “You’re just a s*** Cammy Devlin”.

With Australia coach Graham Arnold already adding Devlin to an extended preliminary squad for the January-February window, the former Olyroos star told beIN SPORTS what it would mean to join the green and gold elite.

“Getting called up would be an absolute dream come true if it were to happen,” Devlin said. “It’s every Australian kid’s dream to come and play in Europe and the next step is to hopefully be in the running for a Socceroos cap.

“Even talking about such things feels strange - but that’s what hard work does. It puts you in a position where you never thought you’d be.

“It gives me goose bumps even thinking of putting on that jersey. If it does end up happening I think I’ll be a bit lost for words.

“You have to have belief in yourself otherwise you’ll never achieve anything and of course I believe that if I got in that squad I might be able to bring something new.”

Devlin is still bursting with glee at his encounter with Ange, despite the bitter-sweet connotations of Hearts coming up short against the Bhoys at Celtic Park.

“That was another pinch yourself moment - meeting the man who’s doing such a great job at such a famous club,” he said.

“I was absolutely gutted by the loss but it was cool when we had a word afterwards, it was quite surreal.

“I’d just spoken to Tommy Rogic, who I’d been chasing around the field for 90 minutes trying to get near him, when I caught Ange’s eye.

“He just told me, ‘well done mate, it’s so good to see you over here doing well. There’s another level in you if you keep working hard’.

“I didn’t take those words lightly - especially considering they came from someone who’s done so much for Australian football.

“I’m just grateful to have met him but that will be put aside when we next come up against Celtic.”

A coil of pent-up energy and aggression, the diminutive (170cm) destroyer postulates on possibly tempering some of his more imprudent instincts, while simultaneously insisting suddenly turning touchy-feely would blunt his effectiveness as a born ball-winner.

“It’s part of my game to be aggressive and put my foot in places where maybe sometimes I shouldn’t,” he admitted.

“Maybe I need to be a bit smarter at times but sometimes that all goes out the window when I’m on the pitch in the heat of the moment. I always try and do what’s best for the team. “If there’s a 50-50 there I don’t think I’m ever going to pull out of it. It’s part of my game, and I don’t want to detract from that.

“Maybe it’s the silly ones I can try and get rid of.”

Devlin isn’t opposed to exploring his inner sledger when the opportunity presents itself. “I do open my mouth a bit - it’s part of my personality on the pitch,” he explained. “I’m so invested in what’s going on that any little one percent-ers that will help the team - like putting someone off their game - I’ll do that.

“I’m a good bloke off the pitch but on it if I’ve got to do something I wouldn’t do usually to win the game then I’ll be the first one to do it.

“A lot of players who’ve been very successful have shared those types of traits and don’t think I’ll be changing because it’s got me to where I am today.

“I haven’t come here to just take this opportunity for granted. I feel so lucky to be here to live out my dreams.”


>