Stringing together wins in a packed run into the A-League finals looks like being a challenge, if the first few matches of the restarted competition are an accurate guide.
Cameron Devlin has exploded onto the footballing scene at Wellington Phoenix, playing 62 per cent of the available minutes under Ufuk Talay this season.
He’s been a key part of Wellington’s rebuild under Talay and is now in high contention for a spot in the Australian Olympic team. This is the second interview in my football’s future series, which offers a unique insight into A-League and W-League’s best young stars.
Jack George: What are you doing during self-isolation?
Cameron Devlin: I am currently in a hotel in Sydney, where I have two days remaining until I get to go home. It has been really tough, but I just can’t wait to see my family. I have been playing a lot of FIFA!
JG: How have you been keeping yourself fit?
CD: I have been doing a lot of bodyweight exercises. We have been doing zoom calls with our team, and I actually went for a few five-kilometre runs in my hotel room!
JG: Who’s your favourite team?
JG: Did you watch Australian football when you were a kid?
CD: I did watch the A-League growing up. I used to be in the Cove watching most of Sydney FC’s home games.
JG: How did it feel to win the A-League player of the month?
CD: Winning the A-League player of the month was really special. It came as quite a surprise, but I was really excited and honoured to be recognised for that award. I think being in the great team I was in really helped.
JG: What’s Ufuk Talay like as a coach?
CD: Uffie is a great coach. He has helped me as an individual so much, and I think the style of football he has got us playing speaks volumes of what he is like as a coach. He is a great tactical manager and a great man manager as well. He has done so much for me.
JG: Who were your footballing idols growing up?
CD: My main idol was Steven Gerrard. I think he is the best defensive midfielder to ever play, and I like to base my game on a lot of things he did well.
JG: What are your goals for your career?
CD: My short-term goals are to do as well as I can for Wellington Phoenix and become an established A-League midfielder. To make the Australia Olympic team – a massive goal for me. My long-term goals are to play for my country and to have the most successful club career I can possibly have. Going overseas has always been a dream of mine.
JG: What kind of experience was it to make your A-League debut?
CD: Making my A-League debut at the SCG in front of 35,000 people in the Sydney derby was very special. It was a 2-0 win and a night I will cherish for the rest of my life.
JG: What is your preferred position?
CD: My preferred position is a defensive midfielder. I can play anywhere in the midfield as well. As long as I am on the field I am happy!
JG: How would you rate your 2019-20 season?
CD: I am really pleased with my 2019-20 season and I hope it isn’t over! I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I was given and just tried to take them as best I could. I am very happy with how we went as a team and honestly felt like we can do something special this season!