Michael Devlin Scotland Feature
Michael Devlin spoke recently to the Red Matchday programme editor to give an insight into what it is like in the current Scotland squad.
While the international break is an opportunity for some players to get a brief rest next week, for Michael Devlin, he is once again away on national team duty and it is an opportunity he absolutely relishes.
“I love being away with Scotland.
“Each time I get the opportunity it is something I get excited about.
“You hear stories of players not wanting to play for their country or wanting time off during the international breaks but I can’t understand that.
“It is maybe just the type of person I am or where I’ve come from, but any opportunity I have to go and be with the squad, I genuinely love it.
“I get that buzz and excitement and that real feeling of pride that I am there.
“There is also a pride with going there and knowing that I am representing Aberdeen.
“Training was brilliant last time.
“The build up to the games is great to be a part of.
“It is an intense week. We had a couple of disappointing results and they were not what anyone wanted but personally, it was an example of how much football can change in the space of couple of weeks. Things completely turned round for me. I went from sitting in the stand here to training with the national squad.
“After playing against Ross County, it was the perfect way for me to carry on that momentum that I had from training the week of the County game, playing in that game and then training with Scotland. It helped my confidence.
“In terms of results, I think there needs to be an element of realism, firstly of the level opposition we played in those two games in September and that the new manager has only had two one week sessions with the players.
“That is the only time he has had to work with the players and to get his ideas across. A club manager will maybe get four or five weeks in pre-season before going into a competitive game. The gaffer of Scotland gets a week ahead of two massive qualifiers.
“Steve Clarke has been brilliant with his training.
“There is an intensity there and he is very clear on what he wants. Albeit the results were disappointing, I believe we are heading in the right direction and the longer the manger is given to work with the boys, I have no doubt that we will get there.
“One thing that I noticed in training was the level of player that is now available.
“We have a real depth to our squad and there are a lot of quality players, players who are playing at some of the biggest clubs in England.
“A number of them have an Aberdeen connection of course with the likes of Kenny McLean and other ex-players like Ryan Fraser involved.
“As well as myself Scott McKenna is normally there and hopefully we will have a few others who are knocking on the door such as Lewis Ferguson and Connor McLennan who are doing well with the U21s. If they keep progressing, you never know when they and the other good young players in Scotland will get a chance.
“So despite the negativity, I think the future is exciting.
“We have to now build towards the play-offs in March. That was the note that we left on. Ok, the Belgium game was tough but that is behind us now and we need to start building some positives towards these play-off games.
“It’s nice to know that the national manager thinks highly of me and he has now included me in a couple of squads. The big thing is to remember why you get that opportunity with the Scotland side, because you are playing at club level. If I don’t do my job and play here, then I won’t get that opportunity to go away with the national side.”