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Danny Devine reflects on time with Caley Thistle as he closes in on 200 games for club

Northern Irishman Devine, who won the Scottish Cup with Inverness in 2015, is in his second spell at Caledonian Stadium.

Caley Thistle defender Danny Devine. Image: SNS
Caley Thistle defender Danny Devine. Image: SNS

Danny Devine has created memories beyond what he could have dreamed of when he first signed for Caley Thistle.

Northern Irish defender Devine is closing in on 200 appearances for Inverness across two spells – a milestone which he will reach if he plays in tonight’s home fixture against Dundee United.

Devine initially joined Caley Jags in January 2013 when the club werre in the top-flight, after turning down the chance to stay with Wrexham where he had been on loan from Fleetwood Town.

Having made the move at the age of 20, Devine gradually broke into the Inverness team and was part of John Hughes’ side who lifted the Scottish Cup and finished third in the Premiership in 2015.

Danny Devine and Aaron Doran celebrate winning the Scottish Cup with Caley Thistle in 2015. Image: SNS.

He left the following year, and went on to have spells with Partick Thistle and Dunfermline before John Robertson brought him back to the Highlands in 2020.

Devine – who has represented Caley Jags in three major cup finals – is thrilled with the way his time at Caledonian Stadium has panned out.

The 31-year-old said: “I didn’t know what to expect when I first signed here. I moved up when Terry Butcher was here.

“I was actually on the verge of signing somewhere else, but I spoke to Terry and he told me about the club. At the time I think they were actually sitting second in the league behind Celtic.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for myself, as a young lad, to try and find my way in the game.

A young Danny Devine challenges St Johnstone’s Steven MacLean. Image: SNS.

“It has provided more than I could dream of.  I lifted the Scottish Cup, played in the League Cup final the year before, and played in the Scottish Cup final last year.

“It’s three national finals I have played in for this club, and I’m very proud of that.

“Hopefully this isn’t the end, and hopefully there are more special occasions to come.”

Defender Devine eager to achieve Caley Thistle promotion aim

With Caley Thistle now in the Championship, Devine is intent on ending their seven-year absence from the top flight.

The Highlanders are six points adrift of the play-off spots at present, and although Devine knows achieving promotion this season will be a tough ask, he is encouraged by the way Inverness are headed under Duncan Ferguson.

Caley Thistle manager Duncan Ferguson. Image: SNS.

He added: “I always feel like the club is in a good spot.

“When we have a squad here, whatever group we’ve got we have to come together.

“Most of the time, a lot of boys have moved away from home, so we are always a tight-knit group.

“With a new manager coming in, it has given us something different. It feels like we are only improving. It’s like a fresh start and we are building back up to something – I hope that is the case.

“Our run of form at the start of the season, and our wee patchy bit just recently, is going to make it difficult to really push for the play-offs this season. There are a few teams who are going to be in about it.

“But I think we are building something good with the manager in place.

“This league is really tough, but hopefully we are not here for much longer.

“Hopefully we can keep progressing and get back to the Premiership.”

Devine embracing Dundee United challenge

Caley Jags face a title-chasing United side who occupy second place in the Championship at Caledonian Stadium tonight.

The Highlanders claimed a 1-1 draw at Tannadice when the sides last met in November, having been defeated by a late Chris Mochrie goal in Inverness when United last made the trip north two months prior to that.

Devine feels his side have shown they are capable of causing problems for Jim Goodwin’s men.

Caley Thistle defender Danny Devine. Image: SNS.

He added: “In the last game against United down there, we played some really good stuff.

“I thought we were unlucky to come away without all three points.

“Don’t get me wrong, they put a bit of pressure on us.

“But the games have been so tight – and it’s the same with Raith, who have got a couple of last-minute winners against us, which was a kick in the teeth.

“But we have held our own against them. We know we are good enough, it is about performing week in and week out and finding that consistency.

“I have said it for a few years now: whatever team is going to win this league or make the play-off places are the ones who are consistent. It is not rocket science.

“If you put a consistent run together in the league and you are consistently picking up points, even when you aren’t playing well, you will be around about it come the end of the season.”