Everton ace Tim Cahill has given the thumbs-up to Australia's new national coach Pim Verbeek, praising his honesty and communication with the Socceroo players.
Cahill scored a trademark headed goal as Australia launched their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign Wednesday with a dazzling 3-0 win over Qatar in Verbeek's first match in charge.
Verbeek, the former Korea Republic national coach, has only been in the job for a couple of months and had just a few days to prepare with his overseas-based stars before the Qatari match. The Dutchman has trodden on a few toes with his forthright manner, but Cahill has a favourable first impression.
"The honesty and the discipline with Pim is excellent and he has a lot of class about him, charisma, the way he talks to players," Cahill said Thursday before returning to Everton.
"He's a different spice compared to (2006 World Cup coach) Guus Hiddink but I like it, I'm enjoying it, and a lot of boys are enjoying it as well. I know he's been very critical of a lot of situations with players and the way we (A-League) play, but it has to be like this because he wants the best for Australia and I think people should respect him for that.
"For us as players we respect him for that as well, so for myself it's been an experience and it's something I'm looking forward to."
One of Verbeek's delicate issues will be keeping the Socceroo players' European clubs on side in a year full of FIFA World Cup qualifiers throughout Asia and the Middle East.
"He came to Everton to meet my manager (David Moyes), it wasn't one of the best meetings in the world, but I've got to keep them both happy and that's what I will do," Cahill said. "I have to play well for Everton and I have to play well for Australia. Fifty thousand people came to see the boys play in the World Cup and they deserve that.
"We can't emphasise enough that if fit that we just want to be part of the squad so we are just showing our commitment."