Cahill ready for fiery A-League debut
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Australian football superstar Tim Cahill is expecting a hot reception when he steps out in Melbourne City colours in the A-League for the first time on Saturday night.
Cahill's first domestic competition match on home soil since 1997 is a Melbourne Victory home game at Etihad Stadium.
He's been a local crowd favourite throughout his 94-game career with the Socceroos, but Cahill's played in heated local derbies around the world too - and he's ready for what's in store.
"The derby is going to be exciting ... I think it's going to be my first taste of Australian supporters booing me," Cahill said at the Fox Sports A-League launch on Wednesday.
"But it's to be expected.
"I'm not expecting a nice welcome; I'm not expecting them to give me a clap in the same way they didn't when I played at Liverpool when I played there (with Everton).
"But that's football - that's the beauty of the game that we play - it comes with the territory.
"There's only one way that I quiet any fan ... and that's through my football."
Cahill is fit and keen to be on the field from the opening whistle for his A-League debut.
The 36-year-old, a substitute for the Socceroos in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Japan, says he's ready to play substantial minutes in the big clash.
"Everybody loves to start, especially in these games. Our intent for this game ... will be pretty clear after the first five minutes," he said.
"I've been doing extras in (Socceroos) camp and the physios have been all over me, but I woke up fine - I didn't do too much physically (against Japan).
"I'm like any other player - if you leave me out there for 90 minutes, I'll play. But that's something I'm going to leave in their hands.
"But I feel great; I honestly do feel good. I felt (good) mobility-wise and football-wise ... I couldn't be happier."
Cahill is bullish on the squad that City coach John van 't Schip has assembled, but stopped short of declaring it ready to break through for a maiden A-League title.
"It's going to be a big year for us ... hopefully we'll win something but it can't be the first thing on our minds," he said.
"When you look at winning something you look ahead 20 games or more, but if you really want to win something you just have to look at the next weekend."