Sydney (AFP) – Veteran Tim Cahill made a low-key debut for Melbourne City after hitting the right notes in a team karaoke session.

The 36-year-old who made his name at Everton came on as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 cup win against Brisbane Strikers on Wednesday night.

It was Cahill’s first club game at home in Australia since he joined London club Millwall from Sydney United nearly 20 years ago.

Melbourne were lucky to escape with victory and Cahill admitted he needed more game time.

But he was also fully aware of his role as a returning Socceroo superstar in spreading the game.

“This is the importance of coming home,” Cahill told reporters.

“Spending time, filling out stadiums, this is what football’s all about: growing communities and grassroots, making it bigger and raising awareness. This excites me as much as winning.”

He appeared to have put in a better performance at his initiation ceremony the previous day belting out the Bill Withers hit “Lean on Me”.

He sang the same song on arrival at Everton 12 years ago.

“It’s a good group, they made me sing last night which was awesome,” Cahill said.

He is expected to lead the Socceroos forward line against Iraq in a World Cup qualifier in Perth next Thursday.