Hearts opponent concedes he can't help but admire 'class' Celtic hero

By John McGinley

March 12, 2023

Cammy Devlin couldn’t help but admit he saw the full class of Aaron Mooy on display at Tynecastle on Saturday as Celtic romped through to the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hearts’ expense.

Mooy opened the scoring in the capital, sparking a 3-0 win that ended any chance of Robbie Neilson’s side winning a trophy this season.

Devlin, who plays in the Australian national team with the Celtic midfielder, said after the game he didn’t enjoy praising opponents, but had to, given Mooy’s top performance.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Aaron Mooy is one of Celtic’s most important players right now

The Hearts man said [The Herald]: “He’s a top player. He showed his class today. On Wednesday we did well, we had an outside centre-back stepping in and putting pressure on him. Kye Rowles did well in both games but Mooy has played at the highest level.

“As a fellow team-mate with the national team, I have nothing but admiration for him. I hate saying that when he’s been on the opposing team. But I have grown up watching him in the A-League and then the Premier League and as a fellow Aussie I do admire him. He’s a great footballer and a great bloke. I just wish we’d got one over him.”

Mooy has scored a healthy seven goals in his last 14 appearances for Celtic, hitting a rich vein of form since returning from the World Cup in Qatar. Now fully fit and getting regular minutes under his belt, he is one of the top contributors in Ange Postecoglou’s team.

There’s no doubt that he is fully earning his consistent selection in the starting eleven, despite strong competition from Matt O’Riley. Others such as Tomoki Iwata and David Turnbull are also in contention match-to-match.

He’s likely to remain a huge part of the side moving forward into the tail-end of the season with his big game experience gold for Postecoglou when it comes to these matches that increase in pressure and expectancy.

I can’t wait to see where he can take his game next!

In other news, Joe Hart, Jota and Kyogo send messages to Celtic support on Instagram.