Socceroos star Tim Cahill, one of Australia’s best-known footballers, is looking forward to the biggest year of his career as he prepares to play in a third World Cup. When not pulling on the green and gold for the Socceroos, Cahill plays for the New York Red Bulls and currently lives in New York with his wife and young family. He spent most of the Major League Soccer off-season at home in Australia and caught up with me to chat about the World Cup, his family life and how living in New York has inspired him to partner with the men’s suiting brand Shoreditch London to launch his own clothing line, Shoreditch by Tim Cahill.
What is a typical day for you?
Now that I’m in New York, I get up early. I’ve got three boys. They’re 10, 8, and 20 months, and my daughter’s 6, so we get them ready for school. My wife and I will drop them to school and then I head to training at about 8.30am. Then I’ll have lunch with my wife, then we go pick up the kids together from school. We try to get their homework out of the way really early and we chill at home at night.
Are you very hands-on with the kids?
Yes, very hands-on. I think one of the biggest things with moving to America was to get this time, because when I played in the Premier League in England, we played two, three games a week and we lived in hotels. You play 50 to 60 games a year, so you travel all over England and Europe. We’re like robots, basically.
Are you enjoying living in New York?
Yes. On the weekends, we get to see shows. We go to the NBA, NFL, walk around Times Square, all the things that everyone loves to do. The kids love it. We love it.
Are you prepared for the World Cup?
Yes – the World Cup is massive. It’s just exciting because now you see the growth in Australia with soccer. And being my third World Cup, it’s definitely going to be another special occasion.
Tell me about your new fashion label.
I’ve always been involved in fashion. I’ve had an eight-year relationship with Armani and I’ve been to Milan fashion shows. I’m friends with people in the industry like Ted Baker, I get to go to shows like Alexander Wang in New York. While living in New York I’ve had a strong exposure to the fashion industry, which has been a strong inspiration for the launch of my own clothing line. I’ve been speaking with Shoreditch London now for eight months. I love the quality of their suits and casual range. Over time, it’s progressed into launching a collaboration that will come out in 2015. The range will consist of suits, sport jackets, bomber jackets and shirts in a great price range for the everyday person. It’s a long-term relationship that we’re going to take global and we’re starting in Australia. I have a feeling that it definitely will be successful.
Will you actually be hands-on when it comes to designing?
Yes, very hands-on. Already now for the new collection they’re all pretty much handpicked by myself – everything from the colours, the style. I go to so many events; I live in suits or dinner jackets. My wardrobe is probably double the size of my wife’s wardrobe, which is pretty big!
Do you have a plan for after your football career?
For the last three years now I’ve been setting up my grassroots football program. We just launched the Foxtel All-Stars Tim Cahill Academy. We’ve done six across Australia already. It’s a program we give free to encourage more kids to play football and lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
Will any of your children follow in your footsteps?
My 10-year-old son is into singing and is pretty amazing. He sang the national anthem at the game in front of national TV across the whole of America. He finished second in an Orlando singing event out of 4000 kids. He loves singing, acting and does lessons every day. Living in America you get to meet different people. I was lucky enough to sit with 50 Cent and get advice on the vision for my son and things like that, and I launched EA Sports’ 2014 FIFA with Drake in New York City. My eight-year-old son is an exceptional footballer and my daughter is an aspiring model. They’ve got some great dreams and aspirations and living in New York has definitely let them chase that.
Does he get his singing genes from you?
Maybe a little. I love singing. I met my wife in high school, in drama class here in Sydney. We went to Kingsgrove North together. Because of the Samoan background, we sing a lot. It’s something that comes part and parcel. We always get the iPad out and we put a song on and sing along.
If you hadn’t gone down the career path you did, what would you be doing?
I’d want to be in drama, acting, or something along those lines. If not, I’d probably just be a bricklayer with all the boys.
You say you met your wife in high school. What’s your secret to a long-lasting marriage?
Just being mates, really. I think the secret is trying not to complicate things. I suppose mainly in relationships, the only time there’s ever any problems is when the guy has messed up, so I’m lucky she’s my best mate. She puts her foot down sometimes, but you need someone like that. When we first met, she had more money than me, so I think you need to have the right morals about a person. We have been together a long time and you learn through your relationships, living in different parts of the world, and I suppose the key is just being mates.
WE WENT TO The Darling, Pyrmont.
WE ATE Chicken salad and Caesar salad.
WE DRANK Sparking mineral water.
TIM WORE Shoreditch suit, shirt and tie.
I WORE A camilla and marc dress.