Around the grounds: Perth makes double swoop as Devlin departs Jets for overseas opportunity

PERTH Glory have secured the services of Pacifique Niyongabire and Antonee Burke-Gilroy ahead of the 2021/22 A-League campaign. 

Burke-Gilroy heads out West after serving Brisbane Roar as an injury replacement player for Jack Hingert in the 2020/21 A-League campaign. The 23-year-old defender made two appearances for the Queenslanders before the end of the season.

Niyongabire, meanwhile, joins Richard Garcia's side from Adelaide United, where he played 22 times over three seasons. At 21 years of age, Niyongabire will hope to become a more prominent figure in the Glory side after starting just once for the Reds in his three-season stint.

The two players spoke via the club website on Wednesday morning, outlining ambitious plans for their respective spells in the Purple and Orange.

"It’s an exciting new challenge and I’m looking to get some more game-time," said Niyongabire.

"I made my A-League debut in 2018, so it’s been a stop-start so far, but I’m hoping to go forward from here.

"I’m looking to score at least five goals this season and make at least ten starts."

"I see this as a massive opportunity moving forward in my career," said Burke-Gilroy, "and I’m very grateful for it.

"I’m very happy to be here, it’s a new challenge, I’m ready for the test and I can’t wait to get the ball rolling.

"My target is to get game-time and establish myself as an A-League player."

GOAL: Niyongabire scores against Perth - his first and only A-League strike to date

Perth secured the signatures of Niyongabire and Burke-Gilroy the day after young forward Carlo Armiento broke news of an ACL injury suffered in pre-season. 

The developing Glory talent benefited from consistent minutes granted to him by Garcia throughout 2020/21. Armiento featured 22 times for Perth last season after making just nine appearances in two seasons as a Red.

"Football can be a cruel game sometimes," Armiento wrote on Twitter. "I’m heartbroken to announce that I have ruptured my ACL. This past week hasn’t been easy at all but I’m lucky for my family and friends who have been around me to support me during this difficult time."

Devlin joins Scottish side Hearts from Jets

After signing with Newcastle Jets this off-season, hard-nosed midfielder Cameron Devlin has departed the club for an undisclosed fee, heading to Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian FC on a three-year deal.

Devlin made his A-League debut in 2018, going on to clock up 51 league appearances between both Sydney FC (seven) and Wellington Phoenix (44).

Devlin departed the 'Nix for Newcastle at the end of the 2020/21 season, but after joining the Australian Olympic squad at the Tokyo 2020 Games through July and August the 23-year-old decided a European move was the next step to take in his burgeoning career.

Speaking to club media, Devlin said a chat with former Sydney FC and Hearts defender Ryan McGowan helped convince him to join the Scottish side.

"I got in touch with Ryan McGowan as soon as I found out," Devlin said.

"He's been at Sydney FC and is a bit of  a Hearts legend, he likes to say.

"Hopefully i can follow in similar footsteps and play as best as I can for Hearts."