Calem Nieuwenhof ditches Hearts quiet guy persona as Aussie playmaker brings the fire and the bite
Chilled-out Calem Nieuwenhof is adding the bite of compatriot Cammy Devlin to sink his teeth into life at full-blooded Hearts.
The 22-year-old is playing a huge role in his side’s sensational run having gone from laid-back learner to charged-up influence. Boss Steven Naismith reckons Nieuwenhof’s cool character may have initially held him back after plunging from sunny Sydney to fiery Scotland.
But the midfielder’s increasing bark is helping Hearts make even more noise as they have stormed to a 10-wins-in-11-games sequence. Nieuwenhof admits Naismith was right, but dog-like Aussie pal Devlin is the ideal man from which to learn and become a terrier. On the manager’s assessment, he said: “He’s not wrong, for sure. I’m a bit more of a laid back, reserved kind of guy. Coming over here to Scotland, football is so different. You can’t really be reserved on the pitch as I’ve learned.
“You need to go into every game with that mindset that you are going to have to get stuck in and get involved. Cammy’s great to learn from. He’s a real dog and a really aggressive player. For sure that is something I can take from his game. That’s something I have really learned across the last few months and brought it into my game and just trying to get consistency into that side of my game, the physical aspect.”
Naismith spotted the talent at Western Sydney Wanderers and he’s shown the patience which has allowed his Aussie to blossom. Nieuwenhof said: “I honestly couldn’t be any happier with the support Naisy has given me during the whole time I have been here.
“From the start, he said it was a massive move for me coming from the other side of the world, a completely different style of football and lifestyle as well. He’s always said to me it