New York Red Bulls Designated Player and midfielder Tim Cahill was introduced to the media in a press conference on Monday.
The Australian international said he was never interested in moving from the English Premier League to Australia's A-League.
"It's simple. This is a massive move for me. Moving to the A League, in all fairness, would have been a step backwards. And that's no disrespect. It's basically, I want to still play at a high level. There's still another World Cup for me to play in and qualify for the Australian team, and this is a massive opportunity," Cahill said. "I didn't speak to any A League clubs and it was never in my plans. The one thing I do in Australia is create pathways for kids to follow their dreams with my soccer clinics, and I make sure that they know that if a kid like me can make it then they have opportunities. I think I'm more interested in the grassroots level of football in Australia and not playing there."
About joining the Red Bulls, Cahill said:
"I think throughout my whole career, I've been very loyal to the football clubs I've played for. I started off at Millwall and left and went to Everton for a fantastic 8 years, probably one of the most emotional moves I've ever made. When I had the phone call that I had the opportunity to play for the Red Bulls, I knew in my heart that if I ever left Everton I would never play for another Premier League team out of respect for the fans, the chairman and the manager. I've achieved a hell of a lot in my career, but I also feel that this is a big move for me. I know a lot of people might think otherwise, but I'm 32 years old. I respect MLS, I'm coming here at a good age, I'm fit and I'm ready for a new challenge. Something that's very special for not only me but also for my family. I'm going to be playing with one of the biggest superstars on the planet, and that's Thierry Henry. I think for me I have to say the vision, as well as the people from the MLS and the Red Bulls, to try and make this a good club on and off the park and create pathways and opportunities for kids who strive to be footballers. For myself, very simple beginnings, nothing special. I work hard, I give everything and one thing I'm going to do for the Red Bulls is put my heart and soul into it."
Cahill said that he is in match form and he is expected to make his New York debut at Red Bull Arena at 7 p.m. on Tuesday against EPL side Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays New York Cup.
To see Cahill's press conference, click here.
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