What a difference a year makes for Mikey Devlin.
Twelve months ago the defender was recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered while playing the final game of the 2016-17 season with Hamilton Accies.
Today he is back playing regularly, earned the man of the match award for his side in the Betfred Cup semi-final win against Rangers and has received a Scotland call-up.
It should come as no surprise then to discover the defender is enjoying himself immensely at Pittodrie.
He said: It was a real honour to be called up to the Scotland squad and now we’ve progressed into a final. On a personal note, and collectively, it’s fantastic. I’m delighted.
“All the hard work is kind of geared up for an occasion like this. You’ve got to just go and play the game and be part of a team which is desperate to get to a final and a club that is desperate to get to a final.
“As a team, I thought to a man we were brilliant. There were elements of the game we could have done better but I’m just delighted to get to a final.”
Devlin agrees the victory against Rangers on Sunday was far from pretty but he hailed his side’s character in securing a final date against holders Celtic on December 2.
He said: “It probably wasn’t our best football performance on the ball. But we defended well as a team. We limited Rangers to a few shots from outside the box. I can’t think of Joe Lewis having too many world class saves. We know he’s capable of doing that if we need it but overall I thought we deserved it.
“We took our chance when it came and were always a threat on the counter. We could have used the ball a bit better, I don’t think there’s any argument about that, but I thought we hung in and defended brilliantly and showed great desire and character to get to the final.”
Devlin allowed himself the opportunity to bask in the glory of reaching the final but his immediate aim is to take his club’s cup form into the Premiership, starting with tomorrow’s visit of his former side Hamilton Accies to Pittodrie.
He said: “We were all thundering back down to earth after the result at Hearts last week to be fair. That’s the disappointing thing for us, our league form. We can’t quite get that bit of consistency that’s expected here so we just need to keep working at that.
“I’m looking forward to the Accies game. When the fixtures came out that was the one I looked for and I’m looking forward to going up against some of my old team-mates.”