Socceroo Tim Cahill said he never considered a move back to Australia to play in the A-League as his Everton career came to an end.
Cahill, who was unveiled as the New York Red Bulls’ star signing at a press conference on Monday, said he felt a move back to the A-League was not in his interests as he attempts to make a third FIFA World Cup appearance for Australia at Brazil 2014.
“This is a massive move for me,” Cahill told reporters.
“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.
“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.”
Cahill believes he has plenty to contribute to New York and to Major League Soccer as he prepares for his first outing in a friendly against former English Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday at Red Bull Arena.
The Socceroos midfielder said he wrapped up the whirlwind move in short order to help the Red Bulls push toward their goal of lifting MLS Cup for the first time.
“As a footballer, I’ve achieved a hell of a lot in my career, but I feel this is a big move for me,” Cahill said
“I know a lot of people might think otherwise, but I’m 32 years old. I respect MLS. I’m coming here at this age because I’m fit and I’m ready for a new challenge.”