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Tim Cahill: Great to be back

5 March 2014

Once a Lion, always a Lion

An emotional Tim Cahill returned to SE16 yesterday as Australia finalised preparations for tonight's international friendly against Ecuador at The Den (8pm).

Midfielder Tim spent six years playing for The Lions between 1998 and 2004, and will forever be remembered by all Lions fans with the utmost of affection for scoring THAT goal against Sunderland at Old Trafford on 04/04/04 to secure Millwall's place in the FA Cup Final.

Tonight, Tim will be hoping to write himself in the record books again as he aims to become Australia's all-time leading goalscorer at the place where it all started for him as a fresh-faced teenager.

Now 34, Tim sits level with Damian Mori on 29 goals as Australia's leading goalscorer at international level and is determined to score his 30th against Ecuador.

"I was speaking to someone really close to me last week about how the stars can align like this," he said.

"This is where it all started, so to score, if I play, will be a very special moment in my career. Millwall, along with Everton, is the place I call home.

"It's great that the game is at The Den and for me to have that sentimental moment, but for us as a team, we're in a new era and breeding a lot of youngsters.

"I think for me it's a bit emotional because this is where it all started. I learned my trade here, played with some great players and it has definitely helped define who I am as a footballer today.

"I still have the same traits as I did when I was 16 purely because of what I learned from the players I played with, the fans and the club.

"When I come back and see the same people working for the club, people who love the club, it's something special."

And Tim had a special message for Lions fans, who have continued to show their appreciation and support for one of their favourite sons via social media in the run-up to tonight's game.

"I'm very active on Twitter and Instagram - their support has been unbelievable," he added.

"Hopefully I can get some game time because it will be a special occasion. It's a weird feeling being here again.

"If you can't play in front of Millwall supporters, then you should stop playing football. They are the most passionate fans in the world. They live for football.

"They go to work during the week for their team and The Den is their outlet on a Saturday.

"When you get to know that football is a way of life for your fans, you know what it is to be a Millwall player.

"Playing in front of these fans is the best feeling ever - I've been on the other end, when the fans haven't been happy, but if you can play at Millwall, you can play anywhere in the world.

"That's the greatest thing I can say because the fans have been great to me. I've had some of my greatest moments in football here."

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