Goal-scoring ace Michelle Heyman is feeling stronger than ever as she prepares to turn back the clock and lead a new-look Canberra United.
Heyman has come out of retirement and signed with United for the 2020/21 W-League season.
Her return comes as a massive boost for United as they look to end the longest finals drought in club history.
Former Matildas striker Heyman won two championships and two golden boots at Canberra, scoring 51 goals in 93 appearances as she became a fan-favourite over eight decorated seasons.
She's had her heart set on Canberra since contemplating a domestic comeback, saying "it's the best team I've ever played for in my life."
"It feels really good to be back. I'm super excited. I'm just finally happy and I think Canberra United has always been the club for me that I've wanted to play for," Heyman said.
"I was kind of sad leaving the club for that year. For myself to come back now and put on the green, it means more to me than anyone else. Canberra has been a home, a second family. It's that feeling of belonging."
Heyman, United's all-time leading goal scorer, returns to the capital two years after leaving the club - having been a casualty of sweeping changes following Heather Garriock's first season in charge.
She spent the 2018/19 campaign with Adelaide United before announcing her retirement from national team duty, with a series of injuries curtailing the later stages of her decorated career.
But an Instagram post reignited the spark to play domestically, the striker asking her fans in August whether she should make a W-League comeback.
"I think it kind of made me have that fire in the belly again. It gave me that feeling to be like, should I or shouldn't I do it?" Heyman said.
"I believe that I am physically and mentally stronger now, than what I was a couple of years ago. I'm in a better place now and I think that's the main reason of trying to give it another push.
"I'm only 32 years old, I've got plenty of time in my legs hopefully. I want to push myself and do it for myself more than anything."
Heyman used her football hiatus to heal her body and reset her mind after playing through two decades without a season off.
The former Matilda took up pilates and started training different muscle groups, but before long she was itching to return to the football field.
"It was my first year off since I was nine years old. So my body needed, my mind needed it. I needed to be human," Heyman said.
"I just enjoyed that time off doing nothing, but now it's about doing it for myself and seeing what comes of this.
"Football has always been the biggest thing in my world, I just want to keep on improving. I thought a couple of years ago I was at my peak and I'm hoping that I can prove to myself that there's a lot more in the tank.
"Having that love for the game is going to bring back more of the old Michelle Heyman, who used to get all the goals and have all that fun."
Heyman played five matches with Sydney University in the National Premier League this year, linking up with former United teammates Grace Maher, Nicki Flannery and Kendall Fletcher.
She hopes they can bring back Canberra's glory days under coach Linton, whose appointment was a major factor behind her decision to return to her former club.
"She said in an interview that she wanted to bring back that Canberra United culture. She's seen it and been around football for so long... she understood what Canberra United was and what it should be," Heyman said.
"We've lost that in the last couple of years and I think Vicki is the person to bring it back. I think she's going to be able to capture the culture within the young girls to keep Canberra United as the family, the underdog team that ended up winning everything."
United has one player left to announce on their 2020/21 roster, with a second goalkeeper to join Sally James.