Cahill determined to make amends for FA Cup defeat

LIVERPOOL: Australia midfielder Tim Cahill has vowed to make amends for Everton’s FA Cup final defeat by helping his club and country enjoy a year to remember.

Even the dispiriting experience of losing in the final of the world’s most oldest cup competition for the second time in his career hasn’t extinguished Cahill’s natural enthusiasm and he is determined to push for a Champions League place before inspiring Australia to new heights at the World Cup.

The 29-year-old played in the Millwall team beaten 3-0 by Manchester United in the 2004 FA Cup final and then suffered again as Chelsea recovered from Louis Saha’s first minute strike to beat Everton 2-1 at Wembley in May. That defeat could have left morale at a low ebb at Goodison Park. Instead, Cahill has lifted the mood with a typically positive statement of intent.

“I need to work hard and try and push Everton as far as we can and to try and win some trophies,” Cahill said. “Last year we were unsuccessful but we were so close yet so far away. 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.” If Cahill’s desire for success seems more urgent than some of his team-mates, it is hardly surprising.

The Socceroos star, capped 33 times by Australia, turns 30 in December and his career is in danger of entering its twilight years with little silverware to show for his prodigious efforts. After seven years at Millwall, Sydney-born Cahill moved to Everton for £1.5 million in 2004 and quickly established himself as one of the Premier League’s best goal-scoring midfielders.

So impressive was Cahill’s adaptation that it wasn’t long before several bigger clubs, including Manchester United, were reported

to be ready to buy him.

But those rumours never came to fruition, leaving Cahill at a club with grand ambitions but lacking the funds to fulfil them.

During the close season, Cahill was linked with a move back to Australia

after his compatriots Jason Culina and Mile Sterjovski quit European clubs to return to the A-League. Yet Cahill said: “It’s hard to put times on things because look what happened with Jason Culina and Mile and a lot of the boys. But I won’t be too soon in coming back to Australia because I need to win things.”

If Cahill’s bid for a medal or two with Everton

comes to nothing this season, he can still look

forward to helping Australia improve on their 2006 World Cup performance.