Football

Kenwright heaps praise on Cahill

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Everton's goalscoring midfield star Tim Cahill has been told he is the club's "new Alan Ball" by chairman Bill Kenwright.

Kenwright believes Cahill has been a major influence on Everton's success this season, which also included a fifth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League, and comparing him with the World Cup winner and one of Everton's finest-ever players is praise indeed.

"He has the true spirit of Everton, the one who epitomises the never-say-die attitude of the whole squad," said Kenwright.

"The first game David (Moyes, manager) and me went to look at a player, was Millwall's play-off game with Birmingham. We actually went to watch a centre-back," he added. "But after half an hour, David looked at me and said had I noticed that black-haired lad going from box to box like no one we had ever seen before.

"We then watched Tim Cahill for the next hour. He was just mesmeric. I recall him coming into my office once to just tell me how much he wanted to play for Everton.

"That was a great thrill for me. He is the prince of footballers, he is the new Alan Ball."

Cahill will step out at Wembley on Saturday for the FA Cup final against Chelsea and could well find himself in the emergency striker role he has adopted for much of the season, as boss David Moyes considers the best way to unsettle Chelsea's defence at Wembley.

Cahill will find himself up against a side guided by Blues boss Guus Hiddink, who he played under when the Dutchman was manager of Australia.

"The calibre and stature of the man speaks for itself, I'm very thankful for what he did for us in the World Cup," said Cahill.

"He is honest and stamps his authority. None of his players get a chance to overpower him and you never know if you are going to be in the team or not."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Football
Millwall
Chelsea
Premier League
Tim Cahill
Everton
Alan Ball
Birmingham
FA Cup
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