Cahill: I’m fit but selection in Bert’s hands
SOCCEROOS great Tim Cahill declared that his flawless training regime proves that he's fit enough for Russia, but said the decision rests with Bert van Marwijk.
Cahill has not skipped a beat during the intensive week-long training camp in the Turkish heat, which he said sits just behind Guus Hiddink's gruelling 2006 regime.
Australia's record goalscorer was unfazed by suggestions that the Caltex sponsorship secured his squad selection after playing a bit-part role at Milwall.
Cahill said there was nowhere to hide during the double sessions as the stakes are raised ahead of the final cull to 23 players.
"I'm not gonna say I'm confident (of making the final squad), I'm not confident. I'm not gonna say anything, I'll let everyone else speak,'' Cahill said.
"It's fair (that people questioned his fitness), but I have not missed a minute (of training).
"The boss doesn't say to me, 'Tim you can do less because you're 38'. I look to do more.
"I couldn't be happier at the minute because after the seven days I'm feeling good and it's been really intense - two-hour sessions, double sessions, you name it.
"That's what I've prepared for now for the last 3-4 years leading into this, just to be competitive enough to be vying for a spot to get on the plane come announcement time.
"I couldn't be sitting here if I wasn't fit enough. It's going to be the manager's call."
Cahill's GPS data has been impressive, believed to be clocking up around 5.8km a day at training.
"Some are saying you're only in the squad because of commercial reasons. For me there's no bigger motivator than people not seeing what I do off the park,'' he said.
"How's it going to knock me about? It put a smirk on my face. It doesn't faze me. It's an amazing tribute from a massive sponsor trying to back football.
"It might ruffle a few feathers because commercially some people aren't used to football taking centre stage. Probably what's even worse is that it's my head as well.
"The boss is gonna make the decision purely on football. Getting to this level, they know what I can produce physically. It's not like I have to miss training or have any special sessions."
Striker Jamie Maclaren had his first session on Tuesday after his late call-up on standby for Tomi Juric, who's nursing a knee injury as jostling for the striking positions hots up.
Cahill said the camp is intense.
"The Guus Hiddink era, it was a different regime, but it was tough then. Compared to the others, this is probably the second hardest (World Cup) camp I've been in,'' Cahill said.
"Two-hour sessions is not for the faint-hearted. Making sure you can complete it consecutively. But it's all bearable."