The Illawarra Stingrays title credentials have received a massive boost on the eve of the 2019 campaign with Matildas strike weapon Michelle Heyman returning to the club.
But the NSW National Premier League Women's 1 outfit will have to bide their time to see the Shellharbour product in action.
Heyman is set to miss the club's season opener against North Shore Mariners on Wednesday night at Seymour Park as she continues to enjoy a brief holiday after the W-League season.
The 30-year-old suited up with Adelaide United in the national league in 2018-19.
She last played for the Stingrays in 2017, but returns to the club as former Socceroos' great Scott Chipperfield begins his first season in charge.
"It's massive for the club," Chipperfield said.
"It's obviously great to have her back in the side. She brings a lot of experience playing at the top level.
"I messaged her when I got the coaching job and she signed a deal with us right on deadline day."
Heyman - who missed selection in the last Australian squad - will help bolster an already experienced Stingrays line-up, which includes a wealth of past and present W-League talent.
Caitlin Cooper, Erica Halloway, Tilly Kramer and Michelle Carney are all returning as well as English-born striker Hannah Beard.
Sydney FC goalkeeper Trudy Burke and Adelaide United defender Kahlia Hogg will also wear pink in 2019.
"The team is looking good," Chipperfield said.
"A lot of the team hasn't really had a chance to train together yet because most of the W-League players had some time off at the end of the season.
"We have a lot of quality there and most of the team from last year is back so we should be able to gel right away.
"I expect we will get better as the season goes on."
Chipperfield begins his first season in charge of the Stingrays as they look to go one better than their runner-up finish last season.
The club finished second to Sydney University in 2018 before tumbling out backwards in the final series.
Chipperfield believes he has a squad capable of competing for silverware again.
"I think we have a good chance," he said.
"I haven't seen that much of the competition yet but know it is a really high standard.
"We are looking forward to getting into it."
Wednesday's season opener is the last round one match to be played, with Illawarra set to take on North West Sydney Koalas on Sunday. The Stingrays drew 1-1 with Koalas in their final trial game before the season began.