Tim Cahill's stunning scoring run for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua is changing Australia's football reputation in China while Matt Spiranovic and Adrian Leijer are also impressing in the Chinese Super League.
Cahill struck the decisive goal in Shenhua's 2-1 win at Guizhou Renhe on Saturday, stabbing Giovanni Moreno's cutback into the net from 10 yards to notch his eighth goal in 11 Chinese Super League (CSL) matches.
The former Everton man took seven games to open his account, while the arrival of Demba Ba and Momo Sissoko prompted speculation Cahill would be squeezed out due to the CSL's restrictions on imports.
But Shenhua stuck with Cahill ahead of Brazilian forward Paulo Henrique - who was sent on loan to Liaoning Whowin - and have been rewarded as the Australian has led Francis Gillot's men on a run of just two losses in 10 games.
Rival coach Mads Davidsen - who is an assistant to Sven-Goran Eriksson at Shanghai SIPG - has been impressed by how Cahill has won over Shenhua's fans.
"He is starting to become a big name, especially in Shanghai. He's extremely popular amongst the Shanghai Shenhua fans, for sure the most popular player right now," Davidsen told Omnisport .
"He started relatively bad in the league, it took him time to understand he structure, the style of play here - and also his team-mates took a while to work out how to play with him because he is a player who needs good support.
"The coach also used him in a lot of different positions - suddenly he was a midfielder, then a central striker and then a winger, but now I think they've found out how to use him correctly and how to set him up."
Since Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation and their players became eligible for Asian-specific import spots in the likes of the CSL, J. League and K-League; Asian clubs have generally signed defensive-minded Australian players.
But Cahill's success is proving to the Chinese football community that Australian attackers can also be worth a look.
"Part of why they [Shenhua] stuck with him [Cahill] was the fans," Davidsen said.
"The fans made a huge impact on social media that they wanted Cahill to stay."
Two "classic Australians" - as Davidsen puts it - are central defenders Matthew Spiranovic and Adrian Leijer.
The Danish coach claims Spiranovic - another Australia international - and Leijer have impressed for CSL mid-table clubs Hangzhou and Chongqing Lifan, respectively.
"Spiranovic has lifted Hangzhou the last few games here, I have seen," Davidsen said.
"Adrian Leijer is playing in a back five at Chongqing and he also looks solid."
Aussies Abroad: Sainsbury denies former club Inter in first UEFA Champions League start
Two Caltex Socceroos defenders were involved in key UEFA Champions League matches on Wednesday morning (AEDT). Milos Degenek’s Red Star Belgrade took on the might of Paris Saint Germain, featuring Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, while Trent Sainsbury went to former club Inter Milan
Aussies Abroad: Nabbout, Urawa Red Diamonds win Emperors Cup final
Andrew Nabbout emerged an Emperors Cup Final winner with Urawa Red Diamonds after the J-League outfit defeated Vegalta Sendai 1-0 yesterday evening. Nabbout was an unused substitute as the Reds clinched the trophy thanks to an early strike from Tomoya Ugajin. It is Urawa’s
'Amazing reward': Cahill to feature in FIFA World Football Museum
A pair of Tim Cahill’s boots will join items like the FIFA World Cup trophy, match balls from some of football’s biggest occasions and rare match-worn shirts in FIFA’s World Football Museum in Switzerland. The Caltex Socceroos legend revealed on Instagram on Sunday morning (AE
Boyle given 'all clear' following 'nasty collision'
Caltex Socceroos attacker Martin Boyle has been given the “all clear” following a head knock in Hibernian’s Scottish Premiership win at Hamilton Academical on Sunday morning (AEDT). Boyle needed lengthy treatment before half time after clashing with Hamilton’s Gary Woods and s