Matildas legend takes Canberra ALW armband
Former Matilda Michelle Heyman will look to lead Canberra United to the next level this A-League Women season as she takes the reins as the club's captain.
Informed over a "very cute" cup of coffee with United coach Vicki Linton, the somewhat-reluctant leader said increased maturity would serve her well helping to grow the club's emerging generation.
"For myself ... maybe five years ago it would have been a lot of pressure to put on my shoulders," Heyman said.
"But now I think I've matured over the years and I'm ready to take that responsibility and lift the team."
Heyman, who scored 20 goals in 61 appearances for the national team before she retired in 2019, said simply playing for fun and not striving for Matildas selection made leadership a more manageable task.
"I don't have the Matildas knocking on my door and telling me how to play and things like that," she said.
"I think it's more just personal now. It's more about the way that I want to play ... it just dropped so much pressure."
Heading into her 10th season with the club, Heyman said United had grand plans of winning the title, having finished fourth last year.
Linton said she wouldn't ask Heyman to be more vocal on-field, instead relying on her actions and experience to do the talking.
"She speaks when she needs to do so, she needs to lead in the way that is within her style and to be honest, she inspires and she does that really well," she said.
"One of the best things she brings is positivity ... she's got a smile on her face, when she turns out she's always enjoying it."
Heyman is the A-League Women all-time leading scorer, having netted 73 times.
She spent 12 months away from the game in 2019 before returning to United for the 2020-21 season, scoring 10 goals in 11 games.
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