Tim Cahill persuaded Tommy Oar to sign for Championship club Ipswich Town

New Ipswich Town signing Tommy Oar. Photo: SU ANDERSON

New Ipswich Town signing Tommy Oar. Photo: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

A number of Australian football stars – including Tim Cahill – persuaded countryman Tommy Oar that Ipswich Town was the perfect next step in his career.

The 23-year-old winger used to set his alarm for the middle of the night so he could watch Premier League football from his family home in Queensland.

After bursting onto the scene with Brisbane Roar he made the bold move to Dutch side Utrecht at the age of 18 and, following five years honing his game in the Eredivisie, decided it was time to pursue his dream of making it in England.

A free agent after running down his contract, the direct-running wideman was not short of options this summer but decided that Portman Road was the perfect move after consulting some of his fellow Aussies.

“Growing up I looked up to the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka when they were doing so well at Leeds,” explained the winger, who could make his Blues debut in a televised Championship match at Reading tonight (8pm ko, Sky Sports).

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“More recently Tim Cahil and Mile Jedinak have done well over here and, talking to some of them, they said that Ipswich Town would be a great step for me.”

Cahill is certainly an excellent role model for Oar given that he made his name in English football with Championship side Millwall before becoming the pin-up boy for Australian football at Everton.

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“I’ve played with Tim for nearly six years now in the national team and he told me this would be a fantastic move for me,” said Oar.

“He knows the manager (Mick McCarthy) as well and he told me that he would help develop my game.”

Oar signed for the Blues a fortnight ago, but then jetted straight out to Australia to link up with the national team.

Having not had a pre-season, he was an unused sub in the 5-0 home win over Bangladesh and made a 12 minute cameo display in a 3-0 win at Tajikistan as the Socceroos kept up their 100% record in World Cup qualifying.

“In Australia the style of football is very similar to here – very direct and very physical. Going to Holland taught me more about the technical and tactical side of the game,” said Oar. “I’m hoping I can use all that to my advantage here.

“I’ll just try and adjust as fast as I can and try to impress in training. I’m confident in my ability and hopefully I can catch the eye.”

On the inevitable comparisons that have been made between him and Kewell, he said: “The only comparison really is that we are left-footed, attack-minded players. My game is more about getting deliveries into the box. I’m more of an out and out winger than maybe he was.

“For sure it’s a flattering comparison though because he’s someone I looked up to growing up.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview.

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