There will only ever be one Tim Cahill - but the famous family name might be plastered again on the back of a national team shirt, with son Shae winning admirers on his own evolving football journey.
Dave Lewis

14 May 2020 - 4:18 PM  UPDATED 14 May 2020 - 4:18 PM

The 15-year-old midfielder is being tracked by Joeys coach Trevor Morgan as he retraces the path to fame of Australia’s all-time top scorer at Everton, the club for whom Cahill senior scored 56 goals in 226 games during an eight-year stay.

Morgan watched the youngster on three occasions in the flesh earlier this year during a scouting mission to England, and liked what he saw at the Toffees’ academy, where Shae is honing his craft.

It’s a long and treacherous road for kid Cahill - whose older brother Kyah is at League Two Macclesfield Town.

But with Morgan looking at a wide sweep of talent ahead of next year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup, Shae is firmly on his watch list.

The coach saw Shae come off the bench on a freezing February day in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in a cup clash, with father Tim also watching on from the sidelines.

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The Socceroos great has a part-time coaching role at Goodison Park, offering advice and encouragement to his progeny along the way whilst not specifically working with his age group.

Morgan assessed Shae on two subsequent occasions during his trip, explaining: “He’s a player of interest and one to monitor.

“I saw some things I liked and we’re interested in what he’s doing.

“He’s at a very good club and in an excellent environment, playing with a group that for me includes three or four potential England internationals.

“He’s a late developer and you don’t want to put him under any pressure.”

Impressed by Shae’s temperament, as much as the innate ability residing within his genes, Morgan added: “He’s a good boy, a lovely boy. He understands the game and has a good first touch.

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“There are other boys who are physically more developed - and Tim knows that.

“At the moment he’s one to keep a close eye on. Everton certainly see something in him that they want to give him time to grow.”

Shae was born in April 2005 during his dad’s debut season on Merseyside, and just 12 months on from his Socceroos debut after a long battle with FIFA battle over his eligibility.

Morgan sees a disparity in terms of the playing styles of father and son.

“Tim would agree he’s not the same type of player,” he said.

“In Tim’s view he has better ball control than he had at the same age (prior to his arrival at Millwall).

“He’s maybe a bit cleverer between the lines than Tim was but Tim was box-to-box and combative.

“He has a good weight on his passing and nice one touch options.

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“He bases his game on being simple and with nice technique because at the moment he may not have the power to go one-on-one too often. Some of these U-15s at that level have pretty similar physiques to U-17s.”

Cahill senior is following his own post-playing path into the coaching realm, having completed his UEFA A license. A pro license is the next step for the 40-year-old.

“He’s getting very serious about his coaching,” added Morgan. “He’s got so much to give back and a fantastic profile around the world.

“He’s a top pro who’s respected everywhere. If you take those assets into a coaching career you’ve got a great head start.

“He’s been very strategic in what he’s doing with his licenses and has put his kid in a great position with his choice of club.

“It comes with that bit of pressure of being Tim Cahill’s son but they’re managing that.”