Cammy Devlin, in his own words, is "not very good at being bad at things". The diminutive Australian midfielder is speaking about his desire to get better at golf as he gives an insight into his life away from the pitch and behind the scenes at Heart of Midlothian.

Over the last 10 months, he has taken up a new hobby, joining fellow members of a "little golf crew" that includes team mates Kye Rowles, Nathaniel Atkinson, Jorge Grant, and now Frankie Kent. The 25-year-old, the club's Player of the Month for April, has taken to lessons in a bid to "actually be half decent".

A sport that is hugely contradictory, equally relaxing and infuriating, he plays golf for the same reasons many others across the country do. As well as the social side it's the chance to switch off. Although, admittedly, he is some way off reaching Craig Halkett's level, revealing the centre-back is a scratch golfer, even if injury has prevented him from getting out recently.

"It is only something I picked up when I came over here," Devlin told Hearts Standard. "The home of golf, everybody loves it, everybody talks about it and I don’t want to miss out on anything. I get FOMO if people are having fun without me!

"It’s a good thing to take your mind off football. You come in here six days a week so you want to relax on your day off, get your mind off. If the weather is good and allows it, which isn’t very often, get out on the course with your mates. 

"A lot of the Scottish boys are really good as well. In the team, Halks [is the best]. He is so good. Proper good. I think [my handicap] would be around 20 but I’ve only been playing 10 months."

Golf is played if "the weather allows it" but what does a typical day look like for Devlin?

"Pretty chilled out," he said. "We come in for 9am for breakfast, training is about 10.30.

"Come in chill with the boys for a bit, stretching, have brekkie, train and we have gym in the afternoon about one o'clock. Have lunch here and depending on if you are getting treatment or doing extras, head home."

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Then it is time to "chill out" whether it is "coffee with the boys" or being shown around Glasgow by his girlfriend, getting a tour of the West End recently.

"I’m a relaxed, laid-back character, come in here and work as hard as I can and then when I am home remove myself away from that, relax and enjoy Edinburgh," Devlin, who continues to follow Rugby League and the A-League back home when the time difference allows, said.

"I love it over here. The weather, that’s the only thing. If it were good weather here it would be the best place. It’s such a nice city, everyone is so friendly. Ever since I’ve come here I’ve felt so a part of the community. I really, really enjoy it. I’m living in the city and I get along with the boys super well.

"I really enjoy it, we go for coffees, walk around, I think I’ve seen the whole city and know it like the back of my hand. I feel really lucky to have come from the other side of the world and welcomed into such a beautiful part of the world."

When it comes to game day there is a similar approach, relaxed and chilled, with one key difference, no alarm.

"My biggest thing on a game day is to get as much sleep as I can," he said. "I like to sleep in, don’t have an alarm and wake up whenever my body wakes up, go for a walk, get a coffee from down the road, make breakfast and chill for a bit.

"I don’t have anything I need to tick off as such. Usually, a game on a 12pm so watch a bit of that and if we are playing at home head to Tynie for 1pm."

Devlin's positivity and enthusiasm are as infectious off the pitch as they are on it. And it is those qualities that make him such a valuable member of the squad, adding to the environment that has and is being fostered at the club. A player who enjoys his workplace and coming into the Oriam each and every day. 

A key area for that development has been the purchase of the bistro, an area of the training complex that is for Hearts staff and Hearts staff only. Devlin described it as "massive" and for more than just the nutrition side.


"It’s so important, not only as an athlete for fuelling your body, see on the social side," he explained, "you go into the bistro and you have all the staff and all the players, B team, women’s team all in the same room, you get to talk away from the football pitch.

"The social side is massive for creating a family at the club. That is the best part of it. You get to sit with your mates every day, have breakfast with them, have lunch with them and the chefs looking after the kitchen there are unbelievable."

Devlin puts much stock in both the nutrition and gym work that goes into being a professional footballer. The impact they can have on peak performance but also injury prevention, something he has had to deal with this season, missing three and a half months. 

Again, the expertise of the chefs at the bistro helps with that, providing food that is "top class", including a cajun sauce that Devlin cannot go without.

"Super grateful for it and I think we are quite spoiled, to be honest," he said. "But it does make such a difference.

"If you want to have longevity in your career one of the most important things you will find out as you go is to look after your body, not only in the gym with strength and stretching but nutrition.

"I learned this season when I was injured you’ve got to adapt what you would usually eat when you are carbing up for games, you have to taper because you are not playing or burning the calories you normally would. As much as you are working hard in the gym and Aidan [Denholm] smashes you in training, it’s not the same. You have got to adapt and change depending on the situation you are in.

"Playing quite frequently at the moment you can carb up more and adapt to last 90 minutes. As you go along you learn how important it all is. The earlier you can start the better for you."

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That goes for the gym as well.

Hearts have had players in the past that have displayed so much natural talent but it's not been matched by the physical and conditioning side of the game at a time when the sport was becoming more athletic.

Under the eyes of the club's head of performance Bob McCunn and head of sport science Mikey Williams, the team are in the gym often. It isn't a case of coming in for a couple of hours and away again.

"I think it is so important," Devlin said. "For me, I’m small in stature but you’ve got to have strong bases, legs, core, things like that need to be strong. It’s the same for every player.

"We do a great job here, we do gym three to four times a week on a long week. If we have a game midweek it changes but Saturday to Saturday we are in three, four times a week. A couple of leg sessions, an upper body session. I think Mikey and Bob who look after us in the gym do a really good job. We have got clear programmes structured to individuals, weight differences and how much they should be lifting. We focus a lot on leg sessions and the power of doing things quickly in the gym.

"They are so beneficial and for me, I try and do everything to the very top I can. You might be tired because we do it after we are on the pitch but we come off the pitch we get lunch, the chefs are unbelievable, fuel your body with whatever you need. I think the gym is a massive part of the success we have had this season and the consistency of it. You don’t notice it at the time but it prevents a lot of injuries as you go."

As well as helping Devlin and the team on the pitch, it won't do him any harm on the golf course either.