Derby for Devlin as Wanderers face St George FC in PS4®NPLNSW Mens 2

When the Western Sydney Wanderers host St George FC in the NSW NPL 2 competition on Saturday night it could hardly be described as a local derby.


First meeting: Jannali footballer Cameron Devlin (left) will line up for Western Sydney Wanderers against Tarik Ercan (right) and St George FC at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday night. Picture: Chris Lane (The St George & Sutherland shire Leader)

First meeting: Jannali footballer Cameron Devlin (left) will line up for Western Sydney Wanderers against Tarik Ercan (right) and St George FC at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday night. Picture: Chris Lane

But it’s a bit different for Wanderers midfielder Cameron Devlin.

The 17-year-old has been part of Western Sydney’s academy officially since last year and played for the Wanderers in the National Youth League competition.

And Devlin, a Sutherland Sharks product, is keen for his first taste of a derby – even if his teammates won’t share his view.

“We played [St George] in pre-season and it was a good game,” he said.

“It’ll be a good challenge, they’re a good team.

“For me it’s a bit of a local derby I guess which is a bit different.”

It is the first time A-League clubs Western Sydney and Sydney FC have entered teams in the second tier of the NSW National Premier Leagues competition.
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The bulk of the Wanderers squad is the same as their NYL team made up of players aged 16 to 20 playing against men for the first time.

Western Sydney have begun the season brightly and sat on top of the table before their loss to Bankstown City last weekend.

Devlin, a pint-sized midfielder who has already represented Australia at under-20s level, said he had relished the challenge of playing against men.

“Obviously with the good results it helps the team spirit week by week,” he said.

“Because we’re a very young team it is [a challenge physically].

“But we’ve worked hard and I’ve noticed when we go out there we’re fitter than other teams.”

Wanderers coach Trevor Morgan is in a good position to judge Devlin’s progress having coached with the club since 2012 and spent 26 years in and around youth football.
Young Socceroo: Jannali footballer Cameron Devlin. Picture: Jane Dyson

Young Socceroo: Jannali footballer Cameron Devlin. Picture: Jane Dyson

But Morgan isn’t just an admirer of Devlin’s playing ability.

“When you’re coaching he’s one that looks you clear in the eyes all the time,” he said.

“He trains with a good intensity, he’s a good listener and his professionalism inside and outside football is excellent.

“He’s giving himself every chance, he’s got no obvious weaknesses.

“He’s definitely the total package and there’s no reason why he can’t make it to the highest level if he continues to work hard.”

Devlin made his international debut for the Young Socceroos against Laos in Australia’s AFC under-19s championship qualifier last October.

The Jannali footballer is keen to remain part of the under-20s squad for the championships in Bahrain in October.
Source The St George & Sutherland shire Leader