Tim Cahill rules out A-League return but could play on abroad

  • Socceroo great hints at move to America
  • A-League clubs snap up key import signings

Retired Socceroos great Tim Cahill is open to offers to continue playing club football, but has ruled out any prospect of an A-League return.

Cahill spent a season and a half with Melbourne City and said he enjoyed the experience but has no interest in coming back to play in Australia, saying he intended to live in America.

But the 38-year-old said he would be open to collaboration with Football Federation Australia, serving as an “ambassador” to the A-League and beginning a potential career in coaching.

“I’ve not really entertained anyone when it comes to football because I’ve been selfish enough to have some serious family time,” Cahill told a press conference in Sydney, where he was speaking for the first time since announcing his international retirement earlier in the week.

“As for domestic (football), there could be an opportunity. I’ve still got time to decide.

“I’ve heard a lot of whispers about the A-League ... I felt like I had a successful time here.

“(But) to live in America and try and play in the A-League would be impossible.”

Cahill played only sparingly last season during spells with City and English Championship side Millwall, and admitted “every decision” he made in the six months leading up to the World Cup in Russia was to help him do whatever he could to help the Socceroos.

Meanwhile, Melbourne Victory has announced its first high-profile signing of the season, securing German defender Georg Niedermeier on a one-year deal on Wednesday. A veteran of nine campaigns in the Bundesliga, the 32-year-old spent many of these alongside former Victory player of the season Matthieu Delpierre at VfB Stuttgart.

“Georg has great defensive qualities and will play an important role in leading our backline this season,” head coach Kevin Muscat said. “His big-game experience in the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and Europa League will be extremely valuable.”

“While Georg is certainly an important addition, we are working hard to continue to add to the overall quality of the squad.”

Victory face a sizeable rebuild after the departures of Besart Berisha, Rhys Williams, Leroy George and James Donachie, with promising youngster Christian Theoharous also departing the reigning champions to sign with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Former defender Nick Ansell has bolstered Muscat’s defensive ranks however after the announcement of his return to the club on Thursday.

Perth Glory has continued its strong off-season rebuild under new coach Tony Popovic, with the signing of Spanish midfielder Juande on a two-year contract.

The 31-year-old played one season in La Liga with Real Betis before their relegation, and has experience in Italy’s Serie B and the Belgian top division, pedigree that impressed Glory’s head of football Jacob Burns.

“Juande has everything you want from a central midfielder,” said Burns. “He has a great passing range, can operate as a playmaker and also go box-to-box and I’m sure he’ll prove to be another excellent addition to the squad.”

Juande follows the recruitment of Socceroo defenders Jason Davidson, Matthew Spiranovic and Ivan Franjic, with Tomislav Mrcela, Fabio Ferreira and Brendon Santalab also joining in recent months.

Wellington Phoenix have added to their recent signing of former Newcastle United defensive stalwart Steven Taylor, unveiling their new Polish goalkeeper Filip Kurto, signed on a two-year deal from Roda JC on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old is new head coach Mark Rudan’s second signing, and the Australian was pleased to have captured a player with over 100 games Eredivisie experience.

PRESS CONFERENCE | Take a look at Filip Kurto's press conference in full on our Youtube channel 👉 https://t.co/T3whNE5Ig0#COYN #FK1

— Wellington Phoenix (@WgtnPhoenixFC) July 19, 2018

“We have known about him for some time,” said Rudan, “he has all the attributes to be one of the best goalkeepers in the A-League. We look forward to him starting with the group and showing what he’s capable of.”

Melbourne City have also bolstered their ranks with the returning Rostyn Griffiths, on a two-year deal.

The one-time A-League record transfer when he joined Guangzhou R&F in 2012 has flitted between stints at home and abroad, but has expressed excitement to join his fifth A-League club.

“The state-of-the-art facilities and Warren [Joyce]’s focus on building and developing a team to compete at the top of the A-League were both major factors in my decision to return to Australia, not to mention the unrivaled atmosphere City fans create,” said Griffiths.

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