Cahill rapt with Socceroos’ attack options

It’s enough to make iron-willed Socceroos icon Tim Cahill weak at the knees.


Australia’s greatest goalscorer is licking his lips at the prospect of silver service from two of the country’s most-exciting young talents in Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh.

Cahill will wear the captain’s armband at Perth’s nib Stadium, standing in for injured regular skipper Mile Jedinak.

But it’s not so much leading his country that excites him as much as the idea of latching onto through balls and crosses from Massimo Luongo and Tom Rogic, who are both in career-best form and poised to start against the world’s 170th-ranked side.

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Luongo needs no introduction after his Asian Cup exploits, but it’s the return of forgotten man Rogic that looms as a potential gamechanger for Australia.

Plagued by injury over the past two years, Rogic is for once fighting fit and has been lighting up the Scottish Premier League with Celtic.

His ghosting runs through midfield and canny ability to see passing options that others can’t will give the Socceroos an extra edge, Cahill believes.

“That’s probably the most exciting thing, seeing combinations we have in attack and midfield for the style of football we play,” said the Shanghai Shenhua forward, who has scored seven goals in 10 club games since Australia’s 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan in June.

“Tommy can definitely open up a defence and these boys together I know can cause problems for any team.

“When you look at the way we play, the triangles and also the set-up, it’s going to be hopefully an entertaining game.

“I’m 100 per cent sure these boys will step up in a big way.”

Coach Ange Postecoglou said nine-cap midfielder Rogic could be a “fantastic addition” to the Australian side.

“Two years ago, it was probably Mass (Luongo) that people didn’t know about,” he said.

“Whilst we know about Tommy, we don’t know what impact he’ll have at international level.

“The reports coming in from Celtic is he’s had a really good, strong pre-season.

“He’s in good physical shape, it’s just about him getting some confidence and he’s starting to do that.”

Mark Milligan is expected to step into Jedinak’s position to complete a strong midfield three for the Socceroos.

The rest of the team almost picks itself, but Postecoglou has ruled out starting uncapped goalkeeper Alex Cisak – meaning Adam Federici or Eugene Galekovic will don the gloves against Bangladesh.