Australia play their first match against Chile on June 13, while defending champions Spain and 2010 runners-up, the Netherlands, make up the rest of a stellar Group B, with Australia already given little to no chance of advancing past the group stages.
The 34-year-old former Everton great has already entered the twilight of his career and is one half of the final two members of Australia’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’, with teammate Mark Bresciano making up the other half of the senior statesmen in the side.
With just three days to go until the Socceroos jet off to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, Cahill said he was delighted to still be part of the Aussie set-up.
“You always have sentiments of how special it is to be part of a third World Cup campaign,” Cahill said in Sydney on Sunday morning local time.
“It’s nice to embrace the fans and say thank you for all their support.
“It’s exciting times for me. Overall, it’s probably the most revitalising period of my career, so I want to enjoy every minute and at the same time, make sure that I make an impact on and off the park.”
Although Cahill will not be leading the Australian team out at the World Cup — Mile Jedinak is the preferred choice — the country’s leading goal-scorer will be the man with the armband when Australia host South Africa at ANZ Stadium on Monday evening.
“It’s a privilege to captain your country, even to be part of this leadership group,” Cahill told a media conference in central Sydney.
“Basically for me, nothing will change. The main four will be making sure that everyone knows their jobs.”
Cahill, Bresciano and coach Ange Postecoglou were tasked with helping out the rest of Australia’s young, inexperienced outfit as the country forges ahead and continues to make big strides in developing the game in a rugby-dominated continent.
Currently plying his trade in the United States with the New York Red Bulls, Cahill is a vastly experienced campaigner and would be one of the members of Australia’s traveling party who is expected to lend a helping hand to some of the younger members of the 23-man contingent.
“Mainly, everything is about educational with the youngsters, letting them know that every training, everything that we do, the way that we play tomorrow and how we can leave that intent in people’s mind that we’re going to the World Cup to really make a great account of ourselves,” Cahill said.
“The players want to impress and they want to do everything possible. Our main thing (as senior players), is reminding them to treat every day as if it’s your last, because if we are, then they should as well.
“This is something that you look back on when you’re older and share with your children. This is the start of some big things and hopefully they can be consistent and realise that just being a good professional and showing a good attitude at the same time will take them a very long way.”