Indian soccer needs more exposure to excel: Cahill

Prime Sports, National (New Delhi), June 29:- Former Australia and Jamshedpur FC striker Tim Cahill feels Indian football’s young prospects can make the best of their talent with systematic exposure.

Cahill, who brought his illustrious career to an end following his stint with Jamshedpur FC in the 2018-19 season of the Indian Super League (ISL), said his experience convinced him that India has what is needed to excel on the continental and world stages.

“Indian talents just need more games, get them playing all the time and competing and when they go into international fixtures, you (will) see that they can handle the pressure,” said Cahill to Star Sports Football United according to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s official website.

Cahill’s spell at Jamshedpur was cut short to 11 games due to injury but the Australian veteran only has fond memories of his time with The Red Miners.

“It was amazing, I lived and breathed everything and was very close to the community as well as the owners from the Tata Group,” Cahill added.

“One of the best things about the organisation and the club was that everything we did was for our fans and everything that Jamshedpur FC did was for the players,” Cahill said.

“The academy where we trained was not even half a mile away from our flats. We were around kids and in schools where we opened up training programmes.”

“I was asked about fundamental skills and things that I do such as projects. Literally, it was just crazy — the stadium (JRD Tata Sports Complex),” said Cahill, who had also spent eight years at English Premier League club Everton, featuring in 226 matches with 56 goals to his credit.

“We were in the middle of nowhere and we have thousands at the game. I’m very blessed to have had that kind of experience.”

“The ISL and the leagues that are being played with its infrastructure are great and the only thing that the game needs more than anything is unity.”

“Everyone is flowing in the same direction to get to that one goal, which is to win an AFC Asian Cup title, to reach the World Cup and help women’s football and to develop our own leagues.”

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