Tim Cahill quits Melbourne City in bombshell announcement
TIM Cahill has sensationally quit Melbourne City, effective immediately.
The Socceroo told the club last week that he would walk, although City hoped he would change his mind by the January transfer window.
Cahill, who scored 13 goals for City since his high profile signing 15 months ago, will now search for a new home in a bid to be match fit and ready for Russia 2018.
In the wake of a series of stories detailing Cahill's dissatisfaction at his playing time with City, and deteriorating relationship with coach Warren Joyce, Cahill confirmed his exit via Instagram this morning.
The process began in the wake of the defeat of Honduras that secured Australia a place at the World Cup, when Cahill spoke immediately afterwards of his need to be playing more.
In his statement today Cahill effectively confirmed that he was leaving to seek more game time in an effort to be available to play for his country in Russia at the World Cup.
"It's never easy to say goodbye but it was great to win last weekend and make a contribution, and also to have the Club sitting third in the league," Cahill said.
"Qualifying for the World Cup has been a great adventure, and it would be a massive honour to represent my country in Russia. That will be my focus in the coming months.
"Playing in the domestic league in Australia was always an important career goal for me, and my experience here has been fulfilling from start to finish.
"The welcome from fans, the quality of the facilities and the ever-increasing quality of football continues to be a source of immense pride.
"I want to thank Melbourne City, the players and the staff, and especially the fans. It was amazing to help bring the first piece of silverware to this club, and this makes me very proud.
"My experience here has been great and I have enjoyed contributing to the culture inside the club, being asked to take on a leadership role and, most importantly, being able to mentor a lot of the younger players - something I will continue to do in the future.
"I wish the club, head coach, players and all the fans all the very best for the rest of the season."
City coach Warren Joyce paid tribute to Cahill.
"Having players of Tim's stature in the dressing room can only help develop a squad's ambitions, and his impact on the team and for the club is well known, particularly with the younger players in the squad.
"In the period that I've worked with Tim, I have appreciated the contribution he has made both on and off the field and the dedication he has shown in training. We all wish him the very best on the next stage of his career," Joyce said.