Life is Devine for Danny!

Local footballer Danny Devine enjoyed success in the Scottish Cup final with his side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Devine, a former Lisburn Youth player, is pictured with the Cup. The defender has also signed a new one year contract with the Highland club.

Local footballer Danny Devine enjoyed success in the Scottish Cup final with his side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Devine, a former Lisburn Youth player, is pictured with the Cup. The defender has also signed a new one year contract with the Highland club.

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Last season may not long be over, but one local footballer is already raring to go for next season.

Danny Devine, 22, finished the 2014/15 season on a high - winning the Scottish Cup with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and penning a new contract with the Scottish Premiership side.

Devine began his football career in Lisburn, playing for Lisburn Youth, to whom he says he “owes a lot”, before joining Linfield.

He eventually made the move to England and then signed for Caley Thistle in 2013.

The central defender said he was “buzzing” when he knew he would start in the Cup final against Falkirk at Hampden Park last month.

“Gary Warren was suspended,” Devine explained. “I was the next central defender and I’d been in the team up to the cup final.

“I didn’t know if I’d be in the team or not but I knew I had a big chance and I had to prepare.

“Obviously I was buzzing to get the chance to play in the Scottish Cup final, but I felt for Gary. He’d done so well in the semi final against Celtic and to miss out that way wasn’t nice. We were all gutted for him.”

Devine, however, took his chance in the final and was delighted to see his side win 2-1, to win their first ever Scottish Cup.

“It was brilliant,” said Danny.

“Just getting to the final was surreal. Obviously playing in it, I was buzzing. To win it was a relief, I was trying to take it all in.”

With Caley Thistle down to ten men, Devine and his team mates were relieved to get the winner and hear the final whistle.

“Obviously we were at a disadvantage and to be fair, Falkirk were coming into it in the second half. It was just about getting through it.

“One minute you were feeling this is not going to be our day, like the League Cup final the year before, and then to get the winner, it shows the character and the spirit in the team.”

Danny was joined by his parents, two brothers and friends from the local area for the final.

“It was great to have them there,” he said. “It was my mum’s birthday the day before the final so that was a good birthday gift.”

The local defender signed his new contract with the Highland club just before their Scottish Cup win.

“Any player wants to have their future sorted. It was a relief signing the contract before the cup final.

“I’m happy with the football club and where I am. For me personally, next season I want to play as much as I can. I’m looking forward to every game, and I’d like us to finish a place or two above where we finished last season.”

Devine can now look forward to his side meeting Romanian
top-flight club Astra in their first adventure in the Europa League.

Despite the heights he is now hitting in his career, he still looks back on his days with Lisburn Youth with fondness.

“My days with Lisburn Youth stood me in good stead,” he commented.

“I first joined Lisburn Youth because all I kept hearing was that Lisburn Youth was the place to be.

“I joined at Under 12 level and enjoyed every minute of it. The coaching set up is amateur but professional in the way it’s done. I have a lot to thank them for.

“From there I went straight to Linfield which was great for my development, as well as giving me the chance to go to England. I went there full of confidence, thinking I had a good chance to make it.

“I owe a lot to Lisburn Youth for helping me get started,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to next season, I want to push on and play as much as possible and win as much as possible for the club and the fans.”