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Cahill wants lift in City A-League crowds

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Ben McKay

Socceroo Tim Cahill is judging his time at Melbourne City as much by attendances as he is by goals.

City host their first home fixture of the season on Friday night when Perth Glory visit, and hopes are high for a five-figure crowd at AAMI Park.

In Cahill they have the star.

Under coach John van 't Schip's re-booted system, they have the style.

Now they just need the fans.

City scored more goals last season than any other campaign in A-League history but averaged less than 10,000 to their 12 home matches not involving Melbourne Victory last year.

It's been the club's goal of the club to improve their footprint across the city, and Cahill confirmed he'd be keeping a close watch on attendances during his time in Melbourne.

"Hundred per cent, I have to help do that. It's a huge part of why I'm here," he told AAP.

"We're doing our bit. We've had an amazing fan day.

"A shirt launch with a tram. Loads of little activations. Lots of media. Dinners with the sponsors.

"I'm seeing things with an open mind. It's such an amazing sporting market in Melbourne."

To use a favourite phrase of Football Federation Australia, City's "metrics" are already up.

Membership has boomed to almost 11,000 - with nearly a thousand of those joining in the week since Cahill's stunning volley in City's 4-1 win in the Melbourne derby.

Wet weather is likely to keep City's opening crowd below the 15,717 that turned out two seasons ago to see World Cup winner David Villa in his short stint with the club.

But beginning the season with a crowd above 10,000 would give City a strong platform for the season ahead.

Van 't Schip, who has seen the club grow from a speck on the sporting landscape, said consistent results would help.

"We improved it last year and we want to again take it to a new level," he said.

"The fans that we have are great but we think we're doing everything possible - the way that we're playing and the players that we're getting in - to get even more members.

"Results are important for that and hopefully (too) the way we're playing."

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