How Everton missed out on Terry Antonis, a man mentored by Tim Cahill

Everton had a deal in place for a man they hoped would emulate Tim Cahill, but Terry Antonis was forced back to his native Australia.

Tim Cahill is an Everton legend and a hero to millions in his native Australia.

During his time at Goodison Park, he believed he had found a prospect ready to follow in his illustrious footsteps.

Terry Antonis was a promising teenager and a player hoping to make the grade in the Premier League.

Cahill took a fellow countryman under his wing and the Toffees put a deal in place to keep him in England.

Football Federation Australia regulations scuppered those plans, though, and the youngster was forced to head home.

He is now on the books of Sydney FC, but Cahill has kept a close eye on his progress and is delighted to see him forming part of the senior Socceroos squad at the age of 21.

"I am very proud, more for Terry and his family. I knew him when he was pretty much a baby," Cahill said.

"The thing I loved about Terry is his willingness to train. The ability he had on the ball was more than any other kid I have ever seen have. He had everything.

"He had a contract and everything organised…he was different to every other player because of his ability on the ball and his vision.

"In different circumstances or another scenario he wouldn't have been playing in Australia all these years. He would have been playing on the biggest stages of the world. I was pretty much nurturing him to be a Premier League player.”

Antonis has seen a switch to Serie A side Parma break down since returning to his roots, but he could be back in Europe at some stage in the future.

He is yet to fulfil the potential he showed in his early years, but time is on his side.

Everton may be among those still monitoring his development, with Roberto Martinez always in the market for potential bargains.

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