Superstar forward Michelle Heyman has re-signed with reigning Premiers Canberra United for Season 10 of the Westfield W-League.
Heyman joined United in Season Three, and claimed the Golden Boot in Season Four with a 15-goal haul across the season. The all-time W-League leading scorer missed half of the 2016/17 season after sustaining an ankle injury against Melbourne Victory in December but is raring to go after an off-season of rehab and more recently time spent playing for her hometown Stingrays.
Heyman's return marks the first official player announcement of Heather Garriock's tenure as Canberra United Head Coach, and the first-year coach expressed her excitement at having a player of Heyman's calibre return.
"We are delighted to have Michelle back in green this season," Garriock said.
"Not only does she bring a wealth of experience but she is an important part of our strike force upfront this season.
"I am confident she can continue to be one of the top forwards in the league."
Heyman will wear the Number 23 this season, aligning with her 'MH23' brand, but also to keep things simple across the board.
"I just thought it was time to use my national team number in the Westfield W-League," she said.
Returning from that ankle injury has been a long process, but Heyman said she has learnt a lot, and can't wait for the season to begin.
"I'm always excited for the W-League, it's going to be another great season," she said.
"The ankle is getting there, I'm feeling really positive and from this injury I have learnt a lot.
"So I am coming back bigger and stronger."
With the Westfield W-League season set to kick off in late October the Canberra United squad will continued to be announced as we get closer, but both Heyman and Garriock are excited for the group that will be working in Green this season.
"This season everything is going to be very new for Canberra United, and it is exciting," Heyman said.
"I always enjoy having fresh faces around the squad.
"Every year we go out to compete for the trophy and it will be the same again this year. It is never easy going so far [semi-final] and not taking it all home, but we have a strong team this year and I'm looking forward to the journey with the girls."
With a mixture of youngsters and experienced players, Garriock said the balance is right and that she hopes players like Michelle can set a strong example in the team.
"Our balance in the team this season is good, between youth and experience," she said.
"I am sure Michelle can be an example of what is required to be at peak performance; she is a professional both on and off the field and no doubt the younger players will want to raise the bar to that level."