The son of legendary Australian footballer Tim Cahill has been called up for Samoa for the forthcoming Oceania Under-19 championships.
Kyah Cahill, 19, is currently playing in Qatar after stints in England and Spain, but he jumped at the chance to play for Samoa’s junior side.
The 19-year-old told OFC Media he is using his call-up as a way to visit Samoa and get in touch with his roots.
Tim Cahill represented Samoa at the 1994 Oceania Under-20 Championship when he was 14, before going on to play at four World Cups for Australia.
Cahill senior was nominated for the Ballon d’Or for the world’s best players in 2006, and is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest ever footballers. He is Everton’s record goalscorer with 50 goals.
Football is integral to the family with two of Kyah’s uncles, Sean and Chris, both ex-Samoa internationals. Chris Cahill played 15 times for the country and was also its captain.
Kyah Cahill will wear the No.17 shirt which his father wore during his entire careeer.
“(My dad’s advice was) just the same as always really,” explained Kyah. “Just to be myself and play to my strengths and have fun most importantly.”
Samoa coach looking for big things from Kyah
Samoa U-19s head coach Matt Calcott is optimistic his father’s goalscoring ability is in Kyah Cahill’s blood.
“We all know the pedigree that Kyah has and the experience that his father has, but he has come in and he has integrated so well, and he will be part of our leadership group,” said Calcott.
“We are really looking forward to having him on board and him scoring a bunch of goals.”
Calcott has dipped into the Samoan talent pool across Australia and New Zealand for the tournament. Advancing from the group stage, where they have been drawn alongside New Caledonia and Vanuatu, for the first time is their main objective.
However, Kyah clearly shares his father’s ambition and has faith in his new teammates to go even further.
“We are going for it,” he said. “I think we will take it game by game, but I believe in the team. The team that we have got and the amount of foreign (based) players we have it is just about how much we can reach for it and how much we want it.”
The Oceania U-19 championships take place in Tahiti from September 7-24, and Samoa’s first game is against Vanuatu on Sunday, September 11.