Tim Cahill, who I believe to be the most badass Australian since Crocodile Dundee, is back home on everyone’s favorite island continent with Everton for a preseason tour.
Due to time issues (and, you know, the fact that I have a job), I doubt I’ll be able to watch too many of these matches, but the first outing appeared to have gone well enough as the Toffees took home a 1-0 victory over Sydney F.C.
Perhaps more newsworthy is the fact that The People’s Club debuted those menacing hot pink away kits that will be sure to strike fear in the hearts of foes the world over. 19-year old French forward Magaye Gueye (no truth to the rumor that his name is pronounced “my gay guy”) made his debut for the Blues, and Victor Anichebe provided the match’s sole score early in the second half.
The Blues will continue their tour on Wednesday in a match-up against Melbourne Heart.
I love the fact that Everton decided to take a tour of Australia due in part, at the very least, the presence of Tim Cahill, arguably the country’s most popular player. By offering Australians a chance to see their star play at home, one is not only rewarding the people who latched on to Everton because of Cahill, but offering the chance to expand their fan base significantly by simply playing to a new crowd.
Let’s take, for example, Landon Donovan’s loan stint at Goodison. There were a number of American fans who, even if they weren’t fans of Everton, they were rooting for the Blues or watching them more closely. Without the numbers in front of me, I’d imagine jersey sales hit somewhat of an uptick, and overall interest in the U.S. skyrocketed, especially with the success that Donovan experienced.
Now, developing an Aussie fan base wouldn’t be nearly as beneficial to the club as developing an American fan base, but it certainly presents a unique opportunity.
From a pure soccer standpoint, when one considers that Australia is coming off their second consecutive appearance at the World Cup, this trip and Cahill’s presence, may provide an “in” of some sort on talent in the country, should the opening present itself.
On another note, I made it through this post without once saying “Down Under.” For that, I deserve at least a Pulitzer Prize.