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Can Tim Cahill suceed in A-League?

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/08/2016 Ben McKay

Tim Cahill's signing for Melbourne City has been hailed by FFA chief executive David Gallop as the biggest in A-League history but will he be able to do the business on the pitch?

Other Socceroos have tried and failed to leave an impact on the local league as their ageing bodies failed them.

Cahill lands at Melbourne City as a 36-year-old, but there are plenty of signs he can buck the trend.

As any Socceroos fan will tell you, there's been little fall-away from the veteran striker at a national team level.

Cahill claimed the all-time national team scoring record on the way to the World Cup in 2014 and has kept putting them away since then.

He's scored in national team colours every year since his debut in 2004; netting seven from 14 games in 2014, nine from 12 games in 2015 and twice from three games this year.

The Sydney-born striker has also earned his keep for his clubs.

Since leaving Everton, he's scored 32 club goals in five seasons spread across the USA's Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League.

Can he keep the good times rolling at Melbourne City?

Injuries haven't played a major part of Cahill's career to date, though an Achilles complaint kept him from facing Germany last year.

City has a mixed record hosting Socceroos in their twilight of their careers.

John Aloisi, Josip Skoko, Vince Grella, Harry Kewell, Patrick Kisnorbo and Josh Kennedy have all ended their careers in City colours - with various degrees of success.

Craig Moore, Brett Emerton and Carl Valeri have produced the goods on their career-ending stints in Australia.

And Brett Holman could be the next to do so, having been heavily linked with a return home for the upcoming season.

But Cahill's star burns brighter than all, and hopes are high the forward can help City leave a bigger footprint in the A-League.



The prodigal son's return to Australia didn't go as planned; Melbourne Victory brought the 33-year-old home but limped to eighth place. Two seasons later, rivals Melbourne Heart brought him out and made him captain but the injury-plagued 35-year-old retired at season's end as Heart finished last.


Capped his career by returning to Australia as a 31-year-old and enjoyed stints with three A-League sides; Central Coast, Sydney FC and Heart. Aloisi would go on to manage both Heart and now Brisbane Roar.


The tough-as-nails centre-back excelled in 14 seasons abroad, winning five titles with Scottish giants Rangers. Landing at Queensland Roar as a 31-year-old, Moore helped the club to two third-place finishes. He now works alongside Aloii at the Roar as a football director.


It could be argued no man has shaped the A-League more than Muscat. The founding captain of Melbourne Victory at age 32, Muscat won two titles as a player before coaching them to a third in 2015.


Neill's return on a 10-game guest stint didn't enhance his hard-won reputation as Socceroos captain. As a 34-year-old, Neill made just three injury-curbed appearances, without winning, for Sydney FC before limping into the sunset abroad.


The Melbourne boy played two seasons in the now defunct NSL as a teenager. After a decade in Italy and England he signed for Melbourne Heart, then coached by mate John Aloisi, and made one substitute appearance at the age of 33 before a calf injury forced his retirement.


As a 32-year-old Emerton returned to home-town club Sydney FC in 2011 after a decade in Holland and England. Stayed for three strong seasons but failed to lift any silverware with the Sky Blues.


Came full-circle as a 32-year-old when he signed for Melbourne City, 16 years after signing his first professional deal with Carlton in the NSL. Dogged by back injuries, the beanpole striker made a dozen appearances, scoring twice, before retiring.


Returned home after a decade in Italy triumphantly in 2014, winning the title with Melbourne Victory as a 29-year-old. After a season of injury woe, Valeri now has the captain's armband for his third campaign in navy blue.


After 15 years abroad, Skoko joined Melbourne Heart as a 34-year-old marquee. Skoko overcame an early hamstring issue, putting in a smart shift for the A-League newcomers before retiring at season's end.


The lion-hearted defender came home as a 32-year-old, joining Melbourne Heart. He would stay with the club for three years, captaining the club for the last two.

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