“For me personally, it will be the biggest game of my life,” responds the 23-year-old from Sydney, who once made a substitute appearance in the Asian Champions League and played for Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but knows the Hampden showpiece against Rangers is several notches up.
“It will be super special,” said the midfielder who was playing for Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand this time last year. “My parents are flying over in a couple of days to come and see it. Obviously, now I’m back fit, I had to make sure they were coming! It will be a massive game for me, but a big occasion for the whole club.
“From where we have come from last season to now is amazing really. It will be the cherry on top of the cake if we can win next Saturday.”
The last time Devlin’s parents flew over to watch him they saw him play on a foggy and dreich day at Dens Park before Christmas and then had to extend their stay to watch the buzzbomb midfielder again due to the Covid-enforced fixture break.
So the cup final will be extra special. The sole focus for Devlin now is to get himself match fit and ready after his two-month struggle with a hamstring injury.
The 15 minutes he got from the bench against Motherwell on Wednesday will certainly have helped and a further opportunity to get minutes into his legs presents itself in the dead-rubber league match against Rangers at Tynecastle tomorrow.
Whether that will be enough to earn Devlin a starting place remains to be seen, with one starting place probably up for grabs alongside Peter Haring in the centre of midfield and Andy Halliday also staking a claim. But if Devlin misses out on a start it certainly won’t be for the lack of trying. Enthusiasm and effort are what he’s all about.
Devlin was one of several Hearts players who picked up an injury in a crazy match at Tannadice on March 5. His only appearance between then and Wednesday was a 10-minute cameo from the bench in the Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Hibs. That was his first taste of Hampden. Now he is hungry for more. “I wasn’t ready to start the semi-final,” he says.
“It wasn’t long after I’d done my hammy. But I just wanted to be a part of it and I felt good enough to be called upon, which I was for ten or so minutes. To win that match in that atmosphere against our rivals was super special for me personally in my first time at Hampden. But also for the fans and the club.
“I’m buzzing to be back. It’s been a long time and frustrating being in the gym on your own and watching the boys out there and being unable to help them. I’m super happy to be back out there.
“In terms of my body I felt good. I’ve been working hard to stay fit and be ready as soon as my chance comes along. The match fitness is not 100 per cent like it was, but that will come and 15 minutes under my belt against Motherwell helped. I can’t wait for Saturday and hopefully get some more.”