Cahill content with Toffees
A number of Socceroos stars have returned home from European clubs in recent months, with Jason Culina signing for new A-League franchise Gold Coast United from PSV Eindhoven while Mile Sterjovski has left Derby to join Perth Glory. But 29-year-old Cahill, who will play for his country against the Republic of Ireland next week in Limerick, reckons he has unfinished business in Europe before he contemplates heading back to his homeland.
"I won't be too soon in coming back to Australia because I need to win things," he said. "I need to work hard and try and push Everton as far as we can and to try and win some trophies. Last year we were unsuccessful but we were so close yet so far away.
"It's hard to put times on things because look what happened with Jason Culina and Mile and a lot of the boys. You never know but I'm very ambitious in the fact that I want to play in the Champions League and 29 years old in football terms is very young."
Cahill, meanwhile, is relishing the prospect of next Wednesday's friendly against the Republic as the Socceroos continue their countdown to next summer's FIFA World Cup™ finals. The clash against the Irish is the first of three international friendlies in as many months for the Australians, who face Korea Republic in Seoul in September before hosting Netherlands in Sydney on 10 October.
The remaining four matches on the programme are 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers against Oman (twice), Kuwait and Indonesia. Speaking via video link from Manchester today, an upbeat Cahill - who will line up in Everton's Barclays Premier League opener against Arsenal three days after playing for his country - welcomed the prospect of playing alongside his Socceroos team-mates on the big stage.
"Ireland's such a big nation and having a game like this is really important for us to keep the team together, to keep them playing at a high level because now we have such a big squad and players playing all over the world," he said.
"Yes it is an awkward time with the Premier League starting this week as well but with the boys all coming together and playing in such a big stadium against a nation like Ireland it's great preparation obviously. It's such a long road and there's so much football to be played but we just can't wait to get together and be part of the team again."
Cahill reaffirmed his commitment to continue to answer the call for the Socceroos at every opportunity, and heaped praise on coach Pim Verbeek for his treatment of the players throughout the qualification process.
"When you've got a passion for football and a manager, you play even better than what you do (normally)," he said. "We fly halfway around the world because we want to but it's even better flying halfway around the world for a manager that looks out for your body, looks out for you mentally as a player and as a person outside of the football pitch.
"Things like that you cannot put a price on and for us I think as a country we're very blessed to have someone with Pim's knowledge and intimacy towards the Australian team, as you see the way he sung the national anthem (after the Australians secured a berth in the FIFA World Cup)."