It promises to be a unique week for Canberra United sharp-shooter Michelle Heyman. The former Westfield W-League golden-boot winner is top of this season’s charts after an expertly-taken goal amid yet another stand-out performance against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.
Heyman hopes to repeat the feat on Sunday wearing the Green & Gold as the Westfield Matildas tackle China in her hometown of Wollongong. Incredibly, Heyman grew up within a street of Aussie teenage ace Caitlin Foord, although the flying wunderkind will have to sit out the match with a foot injury, leaving the 25-year-old No9 as the ‘Gong’s local heroine for the day.
After a modest return in front of goal last season, Heyman seems back to her dynamic best with three goals in two games to open the season. Here she tells us about the impact of the new American players at Canberra, hopes for Sunday at WIN Stadium, and who makes her laugh.
It will be a big week for you with a nice goal in a good Canberra performance, and selection for the Westfield Matildas for a match in your hometown?
I’m really looking forward to it actually, so I’m pretty positive.
You are feeling confident by the look of it...
I think I am back to my old ways. I’m more of a confidence player and as soon I’m happy and confident I think can play my best football.
That looked like a classic Heyman goal against the Wanderers....
I thought so too! I thought ‘I swear I score this goal every time’!
How it is playing with the new-look midfield and forward line at Canberra?
I love it. Everyone is working really well for each other. Me and Lori (Lindsey) understand each other really well, and bounce off each other really well. Having the pace of Steph (Ochs) and Ash (Sykes) beside me is awesome and making my job a lot easier.
Is the spirit of the 2012 Grand Final-winning season back at Canberra this year?
Yes, most definitely. Lori and Steph didn’t have the best season at Washington Spirit so winning has lifted their confidence. I’m sure I talk for the whole team in saying we love the feeling of winning. Last year wasn’t the best for Canberra United. We want to improve but focus on game-by-game.
You will no doubt be looking to try and take your Canberra form to the international area?
Most definitely. It was good having Hesterine there yesterday so she could see me playing in the position I love to play. Hopefully in camp I can be the No9 instead of out wide, though that is up to her obviously. I have to try and beat Katie Gill for the position, but at the moment I think I’m doing a pretty good job and on the right track.
And potentially a big occasion for you next Sunday with a home international in Wollongong?
I can’t wait! It could be one of the biggest matches I could ever play in with a home crowd. To be in Australia and having my parents coming to watch would be a big thing for me.
On to slightly lighter matters, who is the biggest joker in the Canberra team?
Most definitely Caitlin Munoz. She is the happy one in our team and always wanting to put a smile on people’s face and she has a hilarious vibe.
Who is the coolest person in the team?
Sally Shipard. Because of her style and because of who she is, being so down to earth. She is one of my best friends in the team, and she has been through a lot with her football and her life. She is an amazing person to be around. In one word she is amazing.
Hardest question left to last.... Who is the daggiest person in the team?
I could say Sally with her Op Shop clothes but I love it and her own style. Maybe some of the other girls would call it daggy!