In a glorious not-so-distant past the English Premier League glowed green and gold - now it’s the Scottish Premiership hoovering up Aussie talent.
And, according to ex-Rangers and Scotland striker Kenny Miller, the Tartan welcome mat beckons more Antipodean adventurers, thanks to the impressive deeds of those already there.
TARTAN AUSSIES SHINING IN SCOTLAND
- Rangers great Kenny Miller believes there are plenty of Aussies with the ability to swell the ever increasing green and gold ranks in Scotland.
- Olyroos Cameron Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson are flying the flag at Hearts to help set the trend.
- Scotland's top flight is fast becoming the next go-to destination for young A-League talent looking to spread their wings.
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Miller, who rode shotgun to Carl Robinson at Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers before returning home last year, knows all about the A-League landscape.
And he believes the competition is producing a wave of players capable of making their way to Scotland’s top flight to join the likes of Celtic’s Tom Rogic, the Hearts duo of Cameron Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson, St Mirren’s Matt Miller and Ross County goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
Currently assistant at second tier Falkirk, Miller told FTBL: “From what I saw in my time in Australia there are a number of lads who could come in and do a job in Scotland.
“It’s a market which Hearts have dipped into this season (with the arrivals of Devlin from Wellington Phoenix FC and Atkinson from Melbourne City).
“And it’s a market that in my current role I’d definitely dip into if I could. The success of Camy coming into Hearts has made people take a look at that market because there are good players there, who offer good value for money.
“I think there are plenty more who would jump at the opportunity to come over and try their luck in Scotland.
“I have recommended certain players to managers here because I think there are youngsters who’ve had a bit of first team experience in the A-League and can make that transition.”
Devlin, in particular, has been a torchbearer, with the hard-grafting midfielder’s fearless approach earning the adulation of the Jam Tarts faithful in the club's surge to third on the ladder.
“The lads at Hearts love him - he’s carried on where he left off at Wellington,” added Miller. "He’s just a dog in the middle of the park - he gets about, gets on the ball and keeps things ticking over.
“He breaks the game up and is never far away from a tackle either. He’s just been doing a really good job.”
Wingback Atkinson, Devlin's former Olyroos teammate, has followed his compatriot to Edinburgh, and whilst still feeling his way, is gaining traction, according to Miller.
“Nathaniel is a player I’ve always liked and he’s getting minutes in his legs,” he said.
“He’ll learn the game is different, and whilst he’s given up possession on a few occasions, there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be a hit because he’s fast, a decent enough defender and really good going forward.
“I think the wingback role will really suit him at Hearts. He just needs to get to grips with the speed of the game and he’ll be fine. It might just a little bit of time.
“I think having Cameron there will help him settle in because it’s not always easy getting used to a new environment a long way from home.
“He’ll be thinking to himself that if he can do a good job at Hearts where that might lead him in the rest of his career.”
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