After teasing a return to the W-League on her Instagram, Canberra United veteran and ex-Matilda Michelle Heyman has announced she will re-join the local side for the 2020-21 season.
Heyman, who announced her international retirement in 2019 after a string of injuries, said she made a call to head coach Vicki Linton, when she felt ready to return.
“It was a joke when I posted a photo on Instagram to see if I should do a comeback and I got so much positive feedback from it,” she said.
“I think I have so much unfinished business with how I finished the Matildas as well so I really just wanted this season to come back and play with all my heart and have some fun again.
“I was struggling with knee and ankle pain. I think the year off was the best thing to happen to me. I’m finally not taking painkillers just to go into a training session, I am feeling fresh.”
Heyman will play her ninth season with the Canberra side, adding to her 115 Westfield W-League appearances and 63 goals scored.
The 32-year-old is also a two-time W-League Golden Boot winner and the second leading goal scorer in the league.
She said she is excited to put her Canberra United jersey back on and return to her love of the game she lost along the way.
“Canberra is my home; I love it here. It’s the best football I have ever played, and I love the culture here,” she said.
“There was always so much pressure put on me to score goals and to do my best and it’s the one thing I have stepped back away from now.
“I score goals when I am having fun so if I can focus on the fun part, I think everything else will follow.”
Linton said she was looking forward to working with Heyman again, after their time together at the Matildas.
“I had the chance to work with Michelle during my time with the Matildas and I know the qualities she possesses,” she said.
“She made a return to play during the NPL season in Sydney and even in a short space of time, showed those qualities.
“She has been a prolific goal-scorer in the Westfield W-League and for Canberra so it will be good to have her as part of the squad this season.”
Canberra United’s preseason kicked off yesterday, 16 November, with the season set to start on 27 December.