I was born and bred north of the border and can't wait to take on the Auld Enemy… for Australia | The Sun

CAMERON BURGESS will lead a tartan invasion of Wembley with Australia.

The Ipswich defender is one of SEVEN players who either was born or currently playing north of Hadrian’s Wall in their squad that will take on England.

And he says that adds extra spice to the friendly as Scots will be cheering on the Socceroos against the Auld Enemy.

Burgess, 27, Hibernian’s Martin Boyle, 30, and Leicester’s Harry Souttar, 24, are all defenders who herald from Aberdeen.

Celtic midfielder Jackson Irvine, 30, has Scottish heritage through his dad Steve, who was also born in Aberdeen.

While Hibernian defender Lewis Miller, 23, Hearts defender Kye Rowles, 25, and St Mirren winger Ryan Strain, 26, are all plying their trade in the SPL too.



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And Tractors Boys ace Burgess told SunSport: “There are so many of us who have strong Scottish links so lots of people north of the border are going to be rooting for us against England.

“I’ve only been to Wembley once previously and that was to cheer on Scotland against England in the Euros in 2021 when it was a 0-0 draw. It was a lively evening with a great atmosphere.

“I missed out on the chance of playing there when I was at Salford City. We made the Papa John’s Trophy final in 2020 but then Covid came along. The game was postponed and by the time it was eventually played I had left the club.

“So, to play against England at Wembley, is going to be a special occasion — especially with my Scottish roots.”

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Burgess lived in Scotland until he was 11 and always destined to become a footballer.

For his dad Stuart was a pro footballer who played for Albion Rovers, East Fife, Falkirk, Kilmarnock and East Fife in a career that spanned the 1980s and early 1990s.

And his grandfather Campbell played as a keeper for St Mirren, Kilmarnock and Southampton in the Sixties — and won the Scottish league title with Kilmarnock in 1965 as well as earning four Scotland caps.

Burgess — who played youth football for Celtic — emigrated to Australia with his family when mum Lindsay got a job in Perth.

The Ipswich ace said: “My mum was working for a gas company in Aberdeen and it was the same firm in Australia so it was an opportunity for her to move out there with work. 

It was right to commit to Australia because of what they did for me when I moved there. I’m glad I’ve done it.

“Obviously leaving my friends behind was upsetting but going to Perth felt like a big holiday. 

“Then I’m suddenly going to school there and you think, ‘Right, we’ve actually moved here.’

“Australia is a totally different place. We moved out before the summer began so it was hot. 

“You kind of get into the swing of things quickly as a kid, adapt, get on with it. 

“I’ve a lot of close friends that I grew up with from early on. I’ve lots of happy memories.”

Burgess played youth football for ECU Joondalup — now known at Perth Red Star — a junior club with a track record of developing talent. 

The likes of former Australian ace Rhys Williams, who played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough; Bolton’s Jack Iredale, Charlton’s Ash Maynard-Brewer and former Portsmouth, Rotherham and Barnsley’s Ryan Williams all came through the ranks.

And it was while he was there that he was invited for a trial in the UK with Fulham and got signed by the Cottagers when he was 16.

Burgess went on to play in a team that won the Premier League Under-18s that included Fulham keeper Marek Rodak, Moussa Dembele who went on to play for Celtic and Lyon, Sunderland’s Patrick Roberts and Emerson Hyndman who broke into the US national side.

Ironically, the Ipswich defender made his senior debut for the Cottagers at Portman Road nine years ago.

He said: “It was the first game Fulham played after being relegated from the Premier League. 

“Felix Magath was manager and there was a group of young lads who managed to get training with the first team, trying to grab the opportunity with both hands really. 

“He picked me and I was up against Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick. I played in front of the back four at the base of a diamond alongside Hyndman and Scott Parker.”

Burgess only managed four outings for Fulham and got loaned out to Ross County, Cheltenham, Oldham and Bury before moving to Scunthorpe where he reached the League One play-offs in 2018 only to suffer relegation the following season.

After a loan at Salford, he had a season at Accrington before being snapped up by Ipswich, who won promotion to the Championship last season and are now eyeing Premier League football.

Burgess made his Australia debut in a friendly last month against Mexico in Dallas, Texas — a match that saw him give away a penalty in a 2-2 draw.

The defender said: “I felt it was right to commit to Australia because of what they did for me when I moved there. I’m glad I’ve done it.

“I always knew I could get a call-up from Australia and make my senior debut. It was a case of working hard at Ipswich, doing the right thing and it’s the reward for that. 

“The Mexico game was a great experience. We played in the Dallas Cowboys stadium, full of Mexican fans because it’s close to being a home game for them. The penalty was a soft one though!”

Australian football has never been in better health. The Socceroos enjoyed their best World Cup campaign last year — beating Tunisia and Denmark in the group stage before narrowly losing 2-1 to eventual winners Argentina in the last 16.

And Tottenham’s appointment in the summer of Aussie coach Ange Postecoglou was also a huge deal for football Down Under.

Burgess said: “I’ve come across him a couple of times in the junior Australia camps and he has a good presence. 

“I’ve kept an eye on how he’s been doing and it’s not a surprise he’s now at Tottenham.

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“My Ipswich and Australia team-mate Massimo Luongo played for him and always speaks highly of him. Everyone knew what a good coach he already was just by winning things back in Australia. 

“I remember when I was growing up, I used to watch his teams and obviously what he’s done since then with the national team, out in Japan and with Celtic it shows how good he is — and it’s great for Australian football.”

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