EXCLUSIVE: Canberra United are close to signing W-League golden boot and player of the year Michelle Heyman from the now defunct Central Coast Mariners.
The powerful 22-year-old will provide a massive boost to Canberra’s forward line alongside speedster Ashleigh Sykes and Caitlin Munoz.
Matildas star Sally Shipard is also expected to sign for United in what is looming as their strongest side ever.
Heyman, formerly of Sydney FC, burst onto the scene last season and forced her way into national team reckoning after scoring 11 times for the Mariners, who made the finals.
The Shellharbour-born forward became one of the most prized players during the off-season after Central Coast were controversially dropped from the league due to financial reasons.
The decision was widely panned with national coach Tom Sermanni telling au.fourfourtwo.com the dumping was “disappointing” and had "no merit whatsoever".
The new seven team W-League season kicks off on Saturday November 6 with a grand final rematch between reigning champions Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar at Ballymore. United are away to Perth Glory on November 7.
Meanwhile the Matildas will play against Germany in late October as preparations for next year’s FIFA World Cup continue.
The national team will compete at October’s Peace Cup in Seoul before flying to Germany later in the month for a game that will provide ideal preparation for next June's event.
And following their historic Asian Cup success in China earlier this year, the Matildas have moved up the FIFA Women’s World Rankings from 14 to 11 (equal with Italy)
This is the team’s highest all-time ranking and improves on their 2007 12th place ranking and moves them above China PR (14), who drop out of the top 10.