79 79RHYS RHYS WIL­LIAMS

Australian Four Four Two - - 99 THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR THIS SEASON -

In Eng­land they called him the Rolls Royce, and at his prime, Wil­liams’ stylish, ef­fort­less abil­ity earned him the at­ten­tion of Eng­land’s top clubs. But the cost of up­keep on Rhys’s body has been se­vere. Two Achilles ten­dons, hip in­juries, knee lig­a­ment dam­age and a frac­tured cheek­bone have re­sulted in the Aussie spend­ing nearly a third of his ca­reer on the side­lines. If Wil­liams was a car, it might have been sold for scrap by now. It’s lucky that the 29-year-old’s prodi­gious tal­ent has kept him steer­ing to­wards suc­cess. A lesser foot­baller would have given up, or re­sented hav­ing to fight for a place af­ter re­turn­ing to the A-League. Not Rhys. Af­ter forc­ing his way back into Kenny Lowe’s side, he earned his first Soc­ceroos call up in four years and a move to Mel­bourne Vic­tory, where he’s set to re­claim his right­ful spot as one of Aus­tralia’s most tal­ented foot­ballers. Wil­liams is back on track, but he knows he has ev­ery­thing to prove. Can he re­main fit? Have those long, in­spec­tor gad­get legs still got it? This sea­son is a chance to show was what’s re­ally un­der his bon­net. The Rolls Royce has been shel­tered in the garage for too long. It’s time to take the old girl out for a spin. There’s a fragility to his ge­nius – but there is with­out a doubt a ge­nius within. Let it shine...

There’s no guar­an­tee­ing Cahill’s tale will have a happy end­ing. De­spite a strong per­for­mance against Chile, in the last 11 Soc­ceroos ap­pear­ances – to­talling al­most 350 min­utes – Cahill’s only scored once. Tomi Juric and Jamie Ma­claren have been per­form­ing at a high level, and Adam Tag­gart, fol­low­ing a strong 2016/17, is well poised to re­claim his Soc­ceroos place. Even if Postecoglou takes Cahill solely for his ex­pe­ri­ence – which even that is is far from a given – to play more than just a cameo few min­utes, Cahill is go­ing to have to per­form at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity. You’d be mad to write him off, but if this time next year we’re look­ing back at an­other Timmy World Cup mem­ory, it’ll be be­cause of his hard work this sea­son. Only Cahill knows how many chap­ters are left in his never-end­ing story.

ONLY CAHILL KNOWS HOW MANY CHAP­TERS ARE LEFT IN HIS NEVER- END­ING STORY... BUT YOU’D BE MAD TO WRITE HIM OFF

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