Sitting on the sidelines and watching Aberdeen’s semi-final exit against Motherwell gave Mikey Devlin the hunger to be part of one for real.
Devlin was out injured for the Scottish Cup tie at Hampden Park, which ‘Well came out on top 3-0 in to advance to the trophy’s showpiece game.
The Dons face Hibernian tonight at Easter Road with a place in the last four of the Betfred Cup at stake. Devlin’s own experiences of cup runs are few and far between, however the Dons have built momentum through their last few seasons with runs to the latter stages of knockout competitions.
Devlin said: “My record at Hamilton was not great, to be fair. A cup run is not really something we achieved. We got to a quarter-final once and played Rangers but that was as far as we got. It is something I would have loved to have been part of.
“But I do have experience of being at a semi final. I was injured and could not take part or be in the squad but the manager let me travel and be part of the squad for the Motherwell semi-final last season. That was brilliant, and it made me feel part of things even though I was injured. The result did not go our way that day but it was a little taste of what it’s like to go to a semi-final at Hampden.
“When you come to a club like this you understand there is a responsibility on you and the team to reach semi finals and finals. It’s exciting that we have a cup quarter final against Hibs to look forward to.
“Everyone comes to big clubs to try to be successful and win as many trophies as you can throughout your career. Coming to a big club like Aberdeen gives you that opportunity but to be honest the club sells itself.
“You just have to look at what this club has done in recent years to understand where they want to be and where they want to compete. As a player you want to be in a squad that competes at the top of the league and is going for major trophies.”
His name has been in the headlines of late for his controversial sending off against Kilmarnock, which was upheld by the Scottish FA despite Aberdeen feeling they had a concrete case to overturn it.
That prompted a debate about the use of VAR in Scottish football and the transparency of the appeals’ panel, which had also overturned Alfredo Morelos’ red card issued the Dons in August.
The former Hamilton Accies men dwelt little on the perceived injustice, instead channelling his frustration on getting back into the side for the Motherwell game three days ago.
Devlin said: “Regardless of why you miss the game, the important thing is to be ready for the next one. Whether it’s a justified sending off or not or an injury, that does not really matter. You just have to be ready and whoever plays needs to take the chance or someone else will come into the team.
“In football you always look ahead to the next game and you want it to come as quickly as possible. But after being sent off I knew I would miss the next game then it was the international break. So I played four minutes against Kilmarnock, missed the St Johnstone game then it was the international break.
“It felt like a long time I have had to wait. But the key is being patient, working hard and try to write that wrong the next time you get an opportunity. Fortunately on Saturday I was able to get back in the team and I enjoyed it.”