Heyman eyes Matildas return ahead of Women’s World Cup

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After more than three years away from the Matildas, Michelle Heyman hasn’t ruled out a potential return to international football for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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Heyman made her debut for the squad in 2010 and has a total of 61 caps with the side and scored 20 goals before a series of injuries forced her to retire from international duties in 2019.

However, she says the chance to represent her country at one more tournament at home is an opportunity too good to pass up.

“It’s always in the back of my mind, to imagine playing a World Cup on home soil is something special, so I’ll just keep enjoying my football, having fun with my team and then see what happens,” she said.

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The 34-year-old has only played in one World Cup previously when Canada played host in 2015 and the Matildas made it to the quarterfinals before losing 1-0 to Japan.

She also donned the green and gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she scored two goals against Zimbabwe, however, Australia suffered a similar fate again, going down to Brazil after a quarterfinal penalty shootout.

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Her time away from international football has given her the opportunity to focus on her mind and body’s recovery, as well as spend some time away from football.

Her performance with Canberra United in the A-League Women has only continued to give Heyman opportunities to improve her skills and reinforce the belief that she can return to the Matildas.

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Heyman said she has also spoken to former teammate and current most capped Matilda, Clare Polkinghorne, about the potential return.

“I think I can still get there; I’ve worked on a few things and also playing within the Matilda’s with those players, I know the players and I know their style so I’ve already got an advantage in that aspect,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s just I think my brain can be a little bit faster than my body so I just got to see if I can keep up.”

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Heyman has so far played every minute of Canberra’s 2022/23 campaign and contributed two goals for her side.

You can expect to see more from the skipper heading into the New Year as the potential for an international call up looms.

Feature image credit: Mike Owen

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Grace Buckmaster
Grace Buckmaster
Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Covering Canberra United for the 2022/23 season. Women's sport enthusiast.

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