'It’s amazing to call him a teammate': Mabil's praise for Cahill

Awer Mabil grew up watching Tim Cahill ply his trade for the Caltex Socceroos after arriving in Australia as a South Sudanese refugee.

The 23-year-old now has the chance to play side by side with the Caltex Socceroos legend when Cahill makes a late cameo in Tuesday night's clash with Lebanon.

Mabil made his international debut against Kuwait in October and said he was still in awe at the thought of sharing a pitch with Cahill.

“It’d be amazing,” he said.

“I had the honour of being in the same camp as him last year, and meeting him for the first time and seeing how he is.

“Growing up and seeing what he’s done for Australian football and also his career, it’s amazing to call him a teammate.

“It’ll be amazing to see him on Tuesday and I hope everyone comes out in numbers and says goodbye to an Australian legend, which what he’s done, is going to be hard to replicate.”

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Meanwhile, teammate Trent Sainsbury echoed Mabil's praise for Cahill ahead what is sure to be an emotional night at ANZ Stadium tomorrow.

“For me, personally, it was great to be able to share the field and the locker room with Timmy,” he said.

“Obviously he’s an icon for Australian football now.

“Playing 100-plus games for your country, he deserves the send-off that he is going to get.

“And, for Timmy, it’s a special moment as well.

“So glad to be sharing the pitch with him and give him the send off he deserves.”

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Tim Cahill and Trent Sainsbury