Tim Cahill Returns Home To Play For Melbourne City

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 07: Tim Cahill of the Socceroos poses with fans well after the International Friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at Etihad Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Tim Cahill Returns Home To Play For Melbourne City

After a long wait, the greatest Socceroo since Johnny Warren, Tim Cahill, is returning to Australia to presumably finish his career in the Hyundai A-League. Cahill will don the No. 17 jersey for John van’t Schip’s Melbourne City as they look to make a deep run for their first A-League premiership and championship.

With the addition of Cahill, Melbourne City have leadership, a proven winner and a clinical finisher anchoring their lineup. Here are the details, from the club’s web site.

Melbourne City FC is delighted to announce the signing of Australia’s all-time highest goal scorer, Tim Cahill. The Socceroo joins Melbourne City on a three-year deal which will see him involved with the Club until at least 2019. The deal is in two parts: a two-year playing contract with a third year as part of City Football Group’s coaching team. He will wear squad number 17.

Tim will arrive in Australia in the coming days and will begin training with the Melbourne City squad at the City Football Academy on Monday 15 August. His family will join him in Melbourne soon after. He completed his medical last week at Melbourne City’s sister-club New York City FC’s training facility, where he met Head Coach Patrick Vieira and observed an NYCFC training session.

“I am incredibly excited to have signed with Melbourne City and ultimately the City Football Group,” said Cahill. “There is real ambition and purpose here, qualities that are immensely important to me. The Club is completely attuned to the opportunity for the game in this country; investing significantly in facilities, the development of young players and in giving back at the grassroots level.  For me that makes this the ideal place to be.

“I am here to contribute as much as I can to both the Club and, where possible, to the further development of football here in Australia. My immediate focus is on getting to know my team-mates and our pre-season preparations. I’m excited about the quality of the squad that I am joining and the opportunity to win silverware.  I’m looking forward to the challenge of testing and proving myself in this league.”

“Having Tim join us really builds on the momentum we have created on and off the field over the past two seasons,” said Brian Marwood, Managing Director of City Football Services. “His playing credentials combined with his incredible experience will allow him to make an important and timely contribution to the team. He has many aspects to his game that have enabled him to enjoy a stellar career.

“His goals to games ratio have been impressive both as a midfield player and a striker. His undoubted technical qualities and desire to get the best out of himself and those around him are the key qualities that have given him both success and longevity. These attributes will undoubtedly help Melbourne City over the coming seasons. The plan to transition Tim to join our coaching team is both significant and exciting.  His international experience as a player on four different continents marries perfectly with City Football Group’s unique global footprint. Following the player-to-coach pathway of Patrick Vieira, Tim has a real opportunity to develop within City Football Group both on the field and from the touchline.”

“We have very ambitious targets at Melbourne City; we want to win every time we step on the pitch and in doing so we want to bring success for our fans who have been so loyal to us,” said van’t Schip. “Tim is an important part of realizing that ambition.  The depth and breadth of his experience will be very important to us on the field and also in the dressing room. He is without doubt one of the most loved sports stars in this country, and I think the fact that he is back in his home country is important to the fans, and is fantastic for us as a Club. I see in Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli a beautiful footballing partnership – we are very focused on our pre-season preparations and the time that the team have together now is very important.”

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Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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