Cammy Devlin is convinced his combative style is perfect for the often-chaotic nature of Edinburgh derbies, and knows just one look at his Hearts captain can help cool the tempers tomorrow.
Devlin has found the electric atmosphere and frenetic football of the fixture a thrilling experience so far. Arriving from the more calm surroundings of the Australian A-League, he admits the capital rivalry has been an ‘eye-opener’.
However, the midfielder has relished the step-up in intensity – on and off the pitch – and is determined to taste victory at Easter Road for the first time since his arrival from Down Under last summer
Last season it was all new to me,” said the 24-year-old. “You don’t really get that sort of build-up and that extra meaning of a derby back home like you do here in Edinburgh. I just see myself as a normal bloke walking around. But, when you meet the fans, you do see what it means to them.
“I think the derbies suit my style as a player. I try to fight for everything, give 100 per cent and do everything I can to get the result for the fans.
“It is a bit eye-opening. I know when my mum and dad came over and were here for one of the derbies, they couldn’t believe how loud it was, with the crowd and atmosphere. You don’t get that back home. To have my Mum and Dad be able to experience it was really special.
“I remember walking out in the game at Easter Road (a goalless draw) and it was really cool. It was frustrating not to win because I want to win every game, but to see what it means to the fans gives it that extra bit of meaning for us.
“If we are in the shopping centre or out anywhere, you get all the fans coming up. They are not shy telling you about the meaning of this game, and not only this game but what Hearts means to them growing up. They are season-ticket holders and their dads were season ticket holders so I do get the meaning of it.
“That, to me, is super cool to see. It does open your eyes. You are not just here playing a game, you are here playing a game because it means something to people. As players we do love that.”
Whilst the derby has been a new experience for Devlin last term, anchoring the Hearts team is a veteran of the capital contests. Craig Gordon is not only the Jambos’ dependable last line of defence but also an unflappable one, whose evergreen form – and experience – Devlin believes could be vital.
“Seeing the way the skipper carries himself around the changing room just settles everyone down,” added the Australian Olympian. “He is such a top pro. He is so calm and then he pulls off a couple of worldy saves most games.
“Craig certainly straightens me out. I definitely get a little too excited sometimes, but he straightens me and the rest of the team out. He’ll pull one out the top corner and he’s the first one to just look and start pointing around, whereas we are just like the rest of the crowd, thinking ‘what the hell is going on’.
“He’s had a great career and I think we are super lucky to have him. He’s unreal.
“We know in ourselves that we are a good enough team. We’ve got a couple of young guys, we’ve got experience and we’ve got debutants, but that pressure just gets turned to motivation. We just need to soak it in, do our stuff and hopefully get the win.