Dauntless Devlin reflects on debut Socceroos start

Cameron Devlin reflected on his first start for the Subway Socceroos after the match against Ecuador at Marvel Stadium on Tuesday, speaking about his knock, the result and the excitement on pulling on the Green and Gold shirt once again. 

The tenacious midfielder completed 54 minutes in Melbourne, playing his second match for Australia. 

Devlin was informed by coach Graham Arnold on the day of the match about making his first start, with the achievement being a dream come true for the Hearts midfielder. 

“I was so excited,” expressed Devlin. 

“He just spoke to me this morning and asked me if I’m ready, and said that they’ve got so much belief in me and like I said it’s my dream come true. 

“It’s every kid’s dream to sing the national anthem with your brothers arm in arm.”

Following the emotional national anthem, Devlin instantly imposed himself on the game, showing a mixture of composure on the ball and controlled aggression off it.

However, that aggression was to Devlin’s detriment in the 23rd minute, as he copped an accidental knee to the head from William Pacho, which left a lasting, bleeding gash.

“Yeah I think it’s in me”, Devlin said of the injury and his love for hard tackles. 

“Everyone that’s watching me play probably knows I like the niggle and the tough stuff in the game. 

“I won the ball and I wanted to take a throw-in but obviously needed a headband and a few stitches.”

But despite the Socceroos’ efforts, the match ended in a narrow defeat to a quality, resolute Ecuador side. 

“It was a tough game to be fair,” said Devlin. 

“They’re a good opposition and I just tried to get on the ball as much as I could but obviously we found it quite difficult to play through them. 

“But in defence, I tried to win the ball as much as I could and yeah, just try and do the best I can.”

While the match ended without victory, it was still a dream come true for Devlin, who was part of the extraordinary FIFA World Cup success last year, making the squad thanks to his efforts in Scotland. 

Speaking after the match, Devlin’s professional attitude was clear to see; despite the midfielder achieving a significant goal in his career, he spoke of the disappointment of defeat.

“It’s a dream come true to start for the Socceroos”, said Devlin after the match. 

“I’m so excited, it’s such a special moment for me and my family. 

“Gutted that we ended up losing - It was a tough game. 

“They were better, they were stronger, they were up more for the fight in today’s game rather than Friday. 

“But it’s a dream come true for myself so yeah, buzzing with that but obviously the results are not ideal.” 

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Devlin recently returned to action with Hearts alongside fellow Socceroos Kye Rowles and Garang Kuol, where he played 76 minutes in a 2-0 loss to St. Mirren, which contained Australians Ryan Strain and Keanu Baccus, the latter of whom also featured for the Green and Gold in the most recent international window. 

Hearts currently sit fourth on the table and will be looking to push into third, where Aberdeen is currently placed, two points ahead.

And while his focus will be fully on club football, Devlin will be aiming to continue his form to replicate the feeling of singing the national anthem in the Green and Gold.