Football 1 year ago

FFA smoothes Cahill's path to A-League

  • FFA smoothes Cahill's path to A-League

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 07: Socceroos goalkeeper Adam Federici (L) and Tim Cahill sing the national anthem during the International Friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at Etihad Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Tim Cahill's potential path to the A-League has been made smoother with the introduction of full-season guest players from next season.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) says a full-season guest player spot will be available to all A-League clubs, above the current two marquee slots on a club's 23-man roster.

The move paves the way for Cahill's possible return to play in Australia, with Melbourne City and Sydney FC believed to be pitching to win the star Socceroo's services.

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The guest player announcement on Monday follows FFA's earlier decision to set aside "significant financial investment" to assist in attracting big name drawcards following a season when many felt the league dropped off in that regard.

"The full season guest player opens the door for clubs to attract high profile players that not only bring talent and exposure to their market but the entire competition," FFA chief executive David Gallop said in a statement.

"This is a sign that we are serious about making the Hyundai A-League an exciting competition for our fans and an attractive proposition for high profile players to play their club football.

"As the A-League has grown, the standard of play has dramatically improved and we believe the creation of this extra position will allow for continued growth in performance but also marketability and visibility."

Clubs will receive financial assistance as part of a marketing agreement if they attract players who satisfy FFA criteria built around broad appeal of the entire competition.

"To satisfy the full season guest player criteria players must pass stringent marketability tests to ensure the club is not only signing a quality player who can add to on field performance but they will become pivotal to the marketing of the Hyundai A-League," Gallop said.

"It is no secret that clubs and FFA have been in discussions around this concept and players who may fit the criteria but this change to the competition regulations opens the door for all clubs to have equal opportunity to take advantage of the full season guest player spot."

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