Now that the dust has settled, captain Michelle Heyman has reflected on the season that was.
With 24 goals scored, two wins, seven draws and five losses, Ash Sykes getting back in green, several players making their debuts, and three mid-season signings, there were plenty of highs and lows experienced over the past 14 weeks.
Through it all though, the playing group remained united as ever. While admittedly frustrated with the overall results Heyman said she is proud of the club’s resilience and performance, especially at the back end of the season.
The striker looking forward to building towards something special in 2022/23.
“I’ll most definitely be back, I’m loving my football, I love the game too much,” she said
“I feel fit, I didn’t come away with an injury this season which was a really positive thing for me. I’m still scoring goals, I’m still doing my job, and no one can stop me yet!
“Age is just a number so if I can continue to stay fit and healthy then I never want to give up.
“Looking back at all our results and having so many draws, it would have been another story if we’d just got one or two more wins.
“We could have done better and the way that we turned it around in the last four weeks, it’s a little bit like a stab to the heart because we were actually playing some good football, coming away with wins and I think we were dominating most teams that we were coming up against. So definitely a frustrating season.
“When you look at it, we were on the same number of losses as Adelaide, who reached the finals. They just took their chances and came away with the wins, which helped them be in that position, so looking at next season, you have to take all of those chances and you need to put your best team forward and work on our last 15 minutes of games to make sure we don’t allow goals against us because I think that’s where most of the teams ended up taking those wins or draws out of us.”
Throughout the season though, there were a number of success stories worth celebrating though, including Ash Sykes coming out of retirement, seven players making their league debuts, ten players donning the green for the first time, and both scholarship players not only elevated to the playing group but starting too.
“I look at Sasha Grove from last season to this season, she stepped on that field and she took players on, she was playing some great football, she built that confidence. And now knowing that she has two years under her belt, she’s only going to continue to grow throughout the league and you could see that within her.
“It’s the same with Chloe Lincoln, seeing her step up as a goalkeeper, it’s a lot of pressure. She just fell into that role and she took it with both hands and made the most of her chances and she’s been our rising star for Canberra United and that’s a great thing for Canberra but also the league, to be able to showcase her and this is the talent we have at Canberra and the next generation of footballers. I love seeing their careers changing in the most positive way.”