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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Mark McCadden

Derry City ace Cameron McJannet recalls watching Love Island with Australian World Cup star Harry Souttar

Harry Souttar went from watching Love Island with Cameron McJannet to starring in the World Cup with Australia.

The centre-half lived in an apartment downstairs from McJannet when they played together at Stoke City.

Aberdeen-born Souttar, who was capped at underage for Scotland, played in every minute of Australia’s run to the last-16, battling with stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.

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A far cry from his days at the Potters, where he teamed up with current Derry City ace and November’s SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month winner McJannet.

“I played alongside Harry Souttar at Stoke City,” said the two-goal hero of last month’s FAI Cup final win over Shelbourne.

“He did phenomenally well, breaking into the first team while I moved on, but it was amazing to see an old friend doing as well as he is.

“He’s been up against Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi, being one of Australia’s best players. I’m buzzing for him.

“He lived on the floor beneath me in a block of flats and we watched a season of Love Island together.

“We literally came to Stoke on the same day. He did really well on his loan moves to Ross County and Fleetwood Town.

“You can see how well he is at the World Cup. We were there together but he got into the first-team.”

Souttar switched from Scotland to Australia in 2019 and made his senior debut in a World Cup qualifier against Nepal - much to McJannet’s surprise.

“With his deep accent and proud Scottishness, that was a bit of a surprise but he’s a proud Australian now,” laughed the Candystripes ace.

The pair have kept in touch since their days together at Stoke.

“When he got back from his injury and got called up, I sent him congratulations and he replied,” said McJannet.

“But his phone has been busier now since the World Cup. I’m so happy for him.”

Souttar, whose time in Qatar ended with a last-16 defeat to Argentina, might reach out soon to express mutual delight, as McJannet has had a month to remember himself.

His two-goal heroics fired Derry City to FAI Cup final glory against Shelbourne and yesterday the defender received the Player of the Month award for November.

Not bad for a player who had been happy to let his teammates grab the headlines in a successful year for the Candystripes.

“I did feel I went under the radar a little bit but I wasn’t thinking about personal accolades or anything like that. So it’s just a nice little bonus I guess to get this award,” he said.

While Derry won the Cup, their league challenge ended with a few games to spare as Shamrock Rovers finished 13 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

The challenge for next year is to go all the way in the Premier Division - and McJannet knows expectations are going to be high in Derry.

“I think we’ve set the bar higher now so we’ve got to go in there and try and beat the bar that we’ve set because the city is really excited,” he said.

“So we’ve got to keep them excited.”

It’s a far cry from when he arrived at the club in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic.

“It’s a very different world,” McJannet acknowledged. “I came in the middle of Covid, it was all lockdown.

“Football wise it was very different. It was quite tough to go through to be honest.

“When you look at that league table, it looks like we nearly got relegated and if a few results went against us, it was possible. Then to be where we are now is amazing really.

“But I think it’s not really surprising when all the work goes into the club and everyone is so invested in the club and the whole city loves and supports the club.

“It was only meant to go one direction, I think.”


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