Harris ecstatic for Aussie duo after World Cup call-ups

NEIL Harris says he is thrilled for Tim Cahill and James Meredith after the pair were named in Australia's 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Cahill, 38, re-joined Millwall in January to enhance his chances of being part of Bert van Marwijk's squad and despite making just ten substitute appearances for the Lions, he will get the chance to play at his fourth World Cup.

As for Meredith, it will be his first and the 30-year-old will be hoping to earn his first Socceroos cap since November 2015.

Mezza, as he is known within the Millwall squad, joined on a free transfer from Bradford City last summer and started all 46 league games last term, making the left-back spot his own at The Den and quickly became a fans favourite in SE16.

"It's brilliant, for two completely different reasons." Harris said.

"Firstly, with Timmy. He called me in January and stated that he wanted to come back and work with us.

"Whatever people read into the situation of how much he did and didn't play, Timmy came back to be ready for the World Cup. He helped us along the way, but helped himself along the way.

"It worked perfectly for us. Would I have loved to have seen him play a bit more? Course I would. Would he have loved to have played a bit more? Yes. It wasn't too be, but he has achieved, with going to the World Cup, exactly what he wanted.

"He knew coming here he would get the best level of training to be ready for the World Cup. He knew we train harder than any other team in the league. He knew I would get the best out of him because I know his character, and it's worked for him.

"I am delighted for him to get to his fourth World Cup. He is there not just because of his ability on the pitch, but the way he lives his life, the way he has conducted himself, the fact that he made the effort to push me to come back because he knew the bigger picture. That just comes with experience and desire.

Meredith was playing in Non-League for York City just six-years ago and Harris said his rise epitomises what Millwall Football Club are all about.

He continued: "What a proud moment for him and his family. A chance for him to go to the World Cup. 12 months ago Mezza wasn't even in the Australian 32-man squad for their end of season camp, he was nowhere near it.

"He came to us in the Championship because I promised him that he would get game time and we would progress and he would get a chance international wise.

"They weren't promises that I knew I could keep, but it was an understanding between us that we would give him the opportunity to be better and that is down to him to take it and I think his form this year has been outstanding and he fully deserves his call-up.

"It's just another sign of how far we have come as a group that we have got a player that we have taken from League One on a free transfer and he is now going to the World Cup.

"What a great story. It's similar to Steve Morison when he came in from Non-League and then moved for nearly £3 million four years later.

"Lee Gregory has come in five years ago and is now scoring goals in the Championship. It's just another great story and for a young man that has given everything to come over here from Australia to forge a career, but also the fact that what this club is all about, giving people an opportunity.

"Non-League players, players that have been disregarded from other clubs and are not good enough. It just goes to show that if you have got the desire and given the chance, you can be good enough."

Australia play Hungary in Budapest on Saturday in their final warm-up game before flying out to Russia where they will play France, Denmark and Peru.

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