Cammy Devlin reveals how he has changed 'completely' by moving to Hearts
Cammy Devlin has revealed that his move from the other side of the world to Edinburgh has changed him "completely" as a person.
The Australian midfielder signed for Hearts just over a year ago, despite having just moved to Newcastle Jets from Wellington Pheonix. A clause in his contract allowed him to move on if a European club came calling and that's exactly what Hearts did after recruitment chief Joe Savage was impressed by his A-League displays.
The 24-year-old instantly became a fan favourite with his all-action style, energy and tenacity in the engine room, with captain Craig Gordon an important influence on the occasionally overzealous Aussie. He's continued to improve this season, turning in a man-of-the-match performance against Zurich in the Europa League play-off at Tynecastle.
His form has led to a long-awaited international debut after coming close last season before injury ruled him out. He now hopes to go to Qatar for this winter's World Cup alongside team-mates Kye Rowles and Nathaniel Atkinson.
Speaking to Socceroos.com about his move to Edinburgh, he said: "I think it's changed me completely. You're moving overseas to the unknown, and there weren't a lot of Aussies when I went over there – I was one of the only young ones at the time I started.
"I've never lived on my own before, so to do that, I think it changes you personally and makes you grow up – you have no choice. Then on the football side of things, it asks a lot more of your body and it matures not only yourself as a person, but your body and the way you play.
"I'm so grateful to be there and get the opportunity and yeah can't wait to get stuck back into it and just try and make my case for World Cup."
Devlin made his first Socceroos bow as a substitute in a World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand on Sunday. Despite it being an away fixture, Eden Park almost felt like home. His parents, eldest brother and niece were in the stands as he was introduced. He is no stranger to playing on Kiwi soil, having rose to prominence in professional football with the Wellington Phoenix.
"I've played at Eden Park a few times and had a few special occasions here already," he explained. "It's kind of where my career kickstarted and now where my hopefully long Socceroos career started as well."
He added: "I think coming off the bench can be hard sometimes, but I had enough time to go out there and I just tried to tell myself to keep a calm head.
"You have got a different jersey on to usual, which means a lot more, so I think it would be easy to get carried away, but I just kept telling myself, 'it's just another game, you're just wearing a different jersey'.
"I wanted to keep a cool head, to go out there play with a smile on my face like I always try and do; it's your debut for the national team, so doesn't get much better than that.
"You see that since you're a kid on the Socceroos social media, all players making their debut and just thinking 'imagine'... you don't really think that could be you one day."