At the announcement of Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad to face Iraq and UAE in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers the Australian coach says Tim Cahill can play for the national team till he’s 50.
Australia’s quest to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup begins when the Socceroos take on Iraq in Perth (1 September) and then the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi (6 September).
The new Melbourne City signing was the only representative of the A-League in the 23-man squad. Fellow strikers Tom Juric and Apostolos Giannou may have more than a back role in those two fixtures as Cahill’s last competitive game was for Hangzhou Greentown on July 10.
Postecoglou isn’t concerned about the strength of Australia’s attack and says if the 37-year old keeps putting the ball in the back of the net he can play for the national team until he’s a Quinquagenarian.
“I’m excited to have them both in the squad but I don’t care if Timmy keeps scoring goals, he can play till he’s 50,” he said. “I don’t think we need to worry who’s going to replace him if he keeps scoring goals. He’s a very important part of what we do and we know that even though he’s not capable of playing 90mins he can certainly make an impact for us in these two games.
“At the end of the day when I look at the attacking options we’ve go in the camp I’m pretty excited by it and we haven’t really struggled to score goals since I’ve been in charge so I don’t think it’s an issue.”
After injury cruelled his season in Holland, Juric’s off-season move to Swiss side Luzern has seen him make a scoring start and the Socceroos boss says the 25-year-old is fighting fit.
“Tomi Juric started the season strongly,” said Postecoglou. “He scored a couple of goals and he hasn’t really had an extended run with the national team. He’s had to battle a lot with his body since the Asian Cup but for the first time we’ve seen he’s been with us all the data suggest that he’s in the best physical condition he’s been in a while.
Meanwhile Giannou has struggled to match his form of last season where he scored 13 goals in 23 games in the Greek Super League with Asteras Tripolis. After netting only three times in 18 games for his Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F Postecoglou says he isn’t concerned by the 26-year-old’s output.
“No not really,” he said. “Apo’s played two games for Australia but he’s playing for his club, I watched him on the weekend. I said before that particularly in China and particularly some of the league’s with our guys it’s not necessarily suited to a striker scoring goals, they play fairly defensively and it’s a hard job.
“Again he’s playing regularly and he played 65 mins on the weekend and I watched the game and he did ok. I still think he’s got a lot to offer us.”