Jason Cummings reveals the Celtic fan who beat Down Under as a ‘Cumdog’ reincarnated striker is no more

25 Apr 2022 | 08:57 | Football

On his day off, he hopped in his Kombi and drove to the nearest beach.

The temperature is 27 degrees in Terrigal, New South Wales and Jason Cummings Sip an iced coffee overlooking the Tasman Sea.

If it’s the morning after a game for the Central Coast Mariners, he’ll be in the water to help his leg recover.

He even tried surfing with his girlfriend Hannah. But Cummings is better in the box than on the board.

Around these parts, no one knows who he is. No one shouted “Cumdog” at him in a Norwegian Glas or Edinburgh accent.

Jason Cummings

For the first time in his life, the striker is enjoying some quiet time. Even if he has to go to the other side of the world to get it.

Cummings doesn’t deny that he’s gotten a lot of attention for himself during his years at Hibs, RangersDundee and other places.

When you have a Joker tattoo on your hand and use it as a goal celebration, you also place a goal on your back. He understands that. And at 26, he has no regrets.

In his younger days, that’s what he was all about. That personality, coupled with his goals, has made him one of the most recognizable characters in the series Scotland team.

But that can become exhausting, even for someone like Cummings.

Instagram photos of Jason Cummings in Sydney taken with partner Hannah Doig

Now he just wants to be noticed for what he is doing on the pitch. He is performing well in Oz, finding the form he showed when he ripped it up at Easter Road and moved to Nottingham Forest.

When he left Dens Park in January, he needed a start.

And he found it in Australia. Weather, lifestyle and – most importantly football – are back in action.

Cummings was on the verge of being called for the Socceroos thanks to his mother being born there.

And with a lovable rogue reputation at the back burner, he is enjoying anonymity.

Cummings told MailSport : “In Scotland, it’s a goldfish bowl, especially in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“People are ready to come to you. When you go out to eat, people will recognize you and want to say this or that.

“I want to start over and make a name for myself here – but for football reasons. And I started to show people that I’m still a good player.

“That reputation or perception has probably gone against me over the past few years. Instead of being recognized as a good player, I am more known as a joker.

“I’ve taken that with me and I’m not going to change it. That’s who I am. But deep down, I still just want to show everyone how good I am.

“Here, it’s more comfortable. For fans and media, it’s not ‘face you’. You can enjoy your football. The only time I’m bothered here is at one of our games.

“We were playing with Western United and I could hear the Norwegian Glas accent in the crowd. He shouted ‘Cumdog, Cumdog’ and cursed.

“I looked around and it was a man wearing Celtic t-shirt sticks his fingers over me. I think I’ll get away with all of that. I’ve been to the other side of the world and I’m still hooked!

“That was the only time. When I walk down the street here, no one bothers me.

“And away from football, I can only enjoy the country and the way of life.”

The consensus in Scotland may be that Cummings did not reach the full potential he showed as a youngster at Hibs.

But he has played for Hibs, Rangers, Forest, Scotland and is now on the cusp of more international recognition thanks to his form in the A League.

Cummings loves to laugh and joke. But he also has a serious side.

“Sometimes I find it hard to live up to my personality,” he says. Everyone wants me to be happy and always happy.

“But when you’re not playing it’s hard. There is a personal side to me.

“Back home, people just expected ‘Cumdog’, like I was a performance monkey.

“They are waiting to see what I will do next. But I don’t want to do anything.

“I’m just a normal person. Of course, I did stupid things – but everyone does when you’re young and you’ve been drinking. When you appear in the public eye, it becomes a big deal.

“When doing interviews, I feel pressured to be funny, like I am a comedian. I wished it wasn’t like that.

“People might think I didn’t do well in my career. But I played for Hibs and it worked.

“I played for Rangers and scored a hat-trick at Ibrox. At Shrewsbury, I scored twice against Liverpool in the FA Cup.

“I had some great moments and played for Scotland. So I will be proud of my achievements in retrospect.

“Not too bad for a boy who grew up in Saughton Mains.

“When I was released by Hearts as a kid, I was more than happy to be a full-time gardener for the rest of my life.

“I did it for a year and a half and didn’t think I would become a footballer. So everything after that was a bonus.

“Now, at the age of 26, I feel like I have survived many years but I still have my early years ahead of me. I want to start my career. And the world is my oyster over here. “

He took his Mariners tally to nine in 17 games with a brace in yesterday’s 4-2 away win over the Newcastle Jets.

Former Sheffield United and Scotland Under-21 player Nick Montgomery is interested in the Mariners and is making the most of Cummings, who is back in the spotlight for what he’s good at.

“This is a new challenge and it has been great so far,” he said. I have a manager who believes in me.

“I definitely see myself staying here and making a living in Australia. It got me an Australian passport.

“There are great opportunities here. I have a lot of goals and I’m still young, so give them plenty of time to achieve them.

“People might think I’m done coming out here. That they probably won’t hear about me anymore. “

With Cummings, that will never happen.

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