Caltex Socceroos striker Tim Cahill has expressed his delight after sealing an ‘emotional’ return to English Championship club Millwall more than 13 years after departing the club.
Cahill, without a club since December, has signed with the Lions through until the end of the 2017/18 season.
The 38-year-old began his professional career with Millwall back in 1998 and made over 250 appearances for the club between 1998-2004, scoring 57 goals.
"It's an amazing feeling," Cahill told millwallfc.co.uk.
"To finally come home and to join Neil Harris, David Livermore and all the lads will be really special. I can't wait to greet the fans, meet my new team-mates - it's one of those things where it's meant to be.
"It's hard to put into words [what it feels like to wear a Millwall shirt once again]. I'm still taking it in now. The first thing I wanted to do when with Neil was to walk on the pitch and in the tunnel and have that feeling again that brings back so many memories.
"Once you go over that white line, you get a nervous sensation back that I had when I was a 16-year-old when I first signed here."
Cahill departed Melbourne City in early December in pursuit of more game time ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
And while recognising he needs to earn a place in the team under Neil Harris, Cahill admitted the professional environment at Millwall was one of the key factors behind the move.
"I'm really happy. I've had a great career as a footballer, but to come here now at this stage of my career, with eyes on a World Cup place, it's such a professional environment," Cahill said.
"It's familiar. Not much has really changed, which is surprising, but it's nice to come back to where I was as a kid.
"The romance of the story is definitely not lost on me. I've always said that if I came back to England, I'd come home. Millwall is where I learnt my trade and it was the most important learning period of my life - my apprenticeship in understanding football.
"To come home to where it all started, it's emotional, but it's happy emotions, because you wish for it to happen, you want it to happen, but when it finally comes to fruition, it's the perfect move."
Cahill will be presented to the club faithful prior to Wednesday’s (AEDT) home clash with Derby County, though he will not be available for selection.