Cahill bridging the gap

By Felicity George (St Kilda Football Club) - Thu 03 June, 2010

After suffering a serious hip injury and broken leg in his first year at St Kilda, 19 year old Paul Cahill is focused on the present and most importantly developing his game as a second year player with the Saints VFL affiliate, Sandringham Zebras.

“My pre-season this year was interrupted at the start, as I broke my leg towards the end of last year, but after Christmas I was able to get out running again.”

“The training I was able to do put me in good stead for the start of the season, which gave me a lot more confidence with my running capacity. It has also allowed me to play a few different positions which I haven’t done in the past.”

Coming to the Saints as part of the 2008 NAB AFL Draft from South Australia, Paul admits it was hard adjusting from high school to the disciplines of AFL, but was relieved to have fellow South Australian, Rhys Stanley, make the journey east with him.

“Because I came straight out of high school the hardest thing for me was getting into a daily 9am to 5pm routine.”

“When I heard that Rhys got picked up it was a relief as I knew I would have someone else to go through it with and that we could stick together. We played against each other for a few years in the SANFL and also played together for the State Championships.”

Despite kicking six goals in four matches for the Sandringham senior side, Cahill has played a couple of games in the reserves, where he kicked three in Round 7 last weekend.

“It’s been tough to keep my place in the seniors, especially because we have a number of good forwards in the team. Players are getting picked on their form each week so I need to make sure I’m playing good footy to be selected.”

“Consistency and effort are vital - I’ve had a few really good games but a few average ones too. I just need to bridge that gap.”

After winning the first four rounds of the VFL season, Sandringham have lost their last three games and slipped to seventh on the ladder. But Paul believes there is some good footy on the way for the Zebras.

“We’re not far off playing some really good footy, it’s just about working through our structures and playing together as a team.”

Getting the right match preparation is important for Cahill, who started a Commerce degree earlier this year.

“I was always going to go to university, but now football has come along its great to get the chance to do both.”

“I’m really superstitious about my sleep. I like to get a lot of sleep before a game, so two or three days leading up to the game I make sure I am in bed early. I also know that by hydrating properly and eating the right food this gives me the best chance to perform well.”

As a forward in the AFL, there’s no-one better to learn from than Saints Captain, Nick Riewoldt, and working with such experienced players has been a highlight for Cahill over the last 18 months.

“Nick Riewoldt and Lenny Hayes are great players to learn from. I have watched Nick closely in the matches he has played to see how goes about it in the forward line. He has to be one of the best (forwards) going around, so it is great to have the opportunity to learn from him.”

Admittedly, Paul would love to be related to Australian Soccer Star Tim Cahill, but even though there is no family connection he is looking forward to watching the Socceroo’s in South Africa this month.

“Unfortunately I am not related to Tim, I like to joke that we are cousins. But I will definitely be watching him in the World Cup this year.”

This article was taken directly from the Saints webiste, For more Saints information, news, interviews and everything else St Kilda visit


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