A dark changing room lies empty save for one man. The cutting and frenetic notes of a violin mirror the excitement of grainy, nostalgic videos flashing before your eyes with a brimming, prolific hero serving his adoring fans. The emblazoned word 'Lions' rises slowly up an infamous calf and up stands the king of them all; the Mufasa of the Den. Tim Cahill has returned.
Now we don't need to tell you this, but Tim Cahill was - and is - a pretty big deal for Millwall fans down in south London. The excitement and hysteria of their social media team - as seen by the announcement video - is matched, possibly, only by the fans who remember the Australian's time as a Lion.
56 goals and almost 250 appearances was more than enough to earn Cahill a place in the heart of every Millwall fan to have watched him play. The man was a prodigy; a passionate and loyal servant who helped the club reach an FA Cup final, win the then-
71: Biggest cheer of the night at Selhurst. The return of Andy Johnson, replacing Doyle. HE'S HOME. http://t.co/NuktVzYe2d— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) September 24, 2014
"To start with, we are thinking about impact – someone to come off of the bench and give us that little lift, someone to lift the crowd and someone to pass on that knowledge when in front or behind."
Encouraging news, Tim.
The problem with returning legends is that they will always remain just that: a legend. Years of bruising football and the toils of ageing rarely combine to improve a player and so the rose-tinted glory days are often muddied by an underwhelming comeback.
Cahill will have to adapt to English football again. He'll have to settle into a new squad and, at the age of 38, a run of several games to find his place in the team is a big ask.
Fortunately for Millwall, the Socceroo is in fantastic shape and makes a point of keeping his fitness at the highest level. So there's a chance.
But excuse our pessimistic iconoclasm, the return of kings is best left to the realm of legend.
Today, Tim Cahill is still the player he was 14 years ago in the eyes of his fans. Returning home risks all of that. Perhaps it's better to safeguard the memories.
Either way, good luck to the Australian; we love the excitement of a returning hero. Let's just hope this Lion bows out to a noble end.