Cahill trains with Socceroos but huge doubts remain

Tim Cahill trains at the Estacio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula.
Tim Cahill trains at the Estacio Francisco Morazán in San Pedro Sula.

TIM Cahill's first training session since arriving in Honduras was a mixture of stretching, walking and signing autographs for local media as the guessing game continued on whether he would play on Saturday.

Having arrived in San Pedro Sula to an awaiting media pack the night before, Cahill was again the focus of attention at Australia's training hit out at Estacio Francisco Morazán, the home ground of club Real Espino, three days before their World Cup qualification playoff first leg.

He stretched with rest of his teammates before disappearing back into stadium tunnel, presumably to have more physio on the ankle he injured last Friday night in his club side Melbourne City's 1-0 loss to Sydney FC.

Cahill later emerged to walk laps of the field with Socceroos physiotherapist Les Gelis as the Australians completed a session that lasted for about an hour.

A few of the Honduran media pack were waiting at the fence to ask Cahill for his autograph as he left the field for the last time.

Cahill happily obliged as the Socceroos' continued their charm offensive with the locals, who remain fixated on the hostile and dangerous image of Honduras that has been portrayed in Australia.


The Socceroos warm up before their first training session.
The Socceroos warm up before their first training session.


How much time, if any, Cahill is given on Saturday is also a hot topic after he declared upon his arrival he would "do anything to be available".

It would be a surprise if Cahill started the match, but if he's fit, he would be more than handy off the bench if the Socceroos needed a goal late in game to give them a solid platform ahead of the second leg in Sydney next Wednesday.

All but one of Australia's 22-man travelling squad trained, with midfielder Jackson Irvine having stayed at the hotel.

Irvine had trained the day before, with Socceroos officials confident the Hull City midfielder would return for the Socceroos' next training session.

Defender Bailey Wright said the squad was happy to be on training paddock together after the players' long journeys from all around the world to the Central American nation.

"Everyone's looking forward to what's ahead," Wright said.

"It's nice to get out on the training pitch and see what it's all about. Pitches change everywhere you go.

"Whether it's a hard pitch or a soft pitch … it's obviously a little bit muggy but nothing we're not used to.

"The sooner we get out here and get out on the pitch, the sooner we can adapt and be ready."

Topics:  honduras socceroos tim cahill world cup playoffs

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