Tim Cahill pleased to be staying in China to continue his 'mission' after signing for Hangzhou Greentown
Midfielder signs six-month deal with Zhejiang club after surprisingly being dumped by Shanghai
Australian star Tim Cahill has spoken for the first time about a “challenging” past week that saw him dumped by leading side Shanghai Shenhua just before the new Chinese Super League season is set to kick off.
“It’s been an eventful and challenging week,” said Cahill, after signing a five-month deal with fellow CSL side Hangzhou Greentown on Monday. “But the good thing is I’ve been able to have a clear mind and make the right decisions at the right time.
“Obviously it’s not something you want to have happen but you’ve got to make the most of it and make the best of it for your footballing career.”
Hangzhou, who finished 11th in the Chinese Super League (CSL) last year and are led by former South Korea defender and coach Hong Myung-bo, said the 36-year-old had joined the club on a six-month deal.
The move came after Cahill was last Tuesday told he was no longer part of Spanish coach Gregorio Manzano’s plans for the 2016 campaign.
Cahill is Australia’s most prolific scorer and scored 11 times in 28 appearances for Shenhua.
He rebuffed the chance to join Australia’s A-League, saying it would be “a recipe for disaster” and the league “lacked vision”.
The CSL gets his seal of approval, however. Hangzhou is close enough to Shanghai that he could commute back to the city where he played for almost a year.
“The thinking was always that I would continue what I had started [in China],” he said. “I think the biggest thing I can provide is my experience and in helping players understand that if they make they make the Chinese league better, they have more chance of making the national team better.
“I don’t know if it’s a mission but I think wherever I have been I have tried to give everything and now that I am in China, I’ll do the same. I came before the big boom and that’s even more rewarding because I can see it’s a developing league and after what you’ve seen happening so far this year it is going to be well watched globally.”
THANKYOU to Hangzhou Greentown Football Club for this amazing opportunity. I'm very happy to be back playing football. I have signed a contract for 5 months. The future now is clear, I want to put all my energy into Hangzhou Greentown Football Club and the Socceroos. It's been a difficult and challenging week however I'm very happy with the way this has all worked out. Always a massive THANKYOU to everyone for their loyal support.
A photo posted by Tim Cahill (@tim_cahill) on Feb 21, 2016 at 6:45pm PST
“As the club’s main foreign import, looking forward to seeing a good performance from Cahill in the Chinese Super League,” Hangzhou said on their official website.
“Tim Cahill good luck!”
The CSL’s 2016 season kicks off on March 4 and Australia next month face World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan.
“I’ve just dealt with the past week the best way I knew how and that was quickly and efficiently,” said Cahill. “I could have done with it well earlier but I’ve dealt with it and I can only wish them the very best.”
“There’s never been a year that I haven’t played football. If you take care of yourself domestically you get picked for international football,” he said. “Last year was a massive year for me internationally, producing great form and scoring goals. So it’s about keeping myself fit and keeping myself in the picture for the national team.”