Matildas coach Alen Stajcic says Canberra United have pulled off a "big coup" in landing Australian co-captain Lisa De Vanna — a player he says can "turn a game on it's head" with her X-factor.
And United coach Rae Dower feels De Vanna is one of the best five women's players Australia has ever produced.
Dower announced De Vanna's signing as a guest player following their thumping 5-1 victory over W-League finals contenders Brisbane Roar at Gosford on Sunday — a win that took United to the top of the ladder.
It means the veteran of 117 caps for the Matildas, with 40 international goals, can play seven games for Canberra across the remainder of the W-League season.
Given United has six regular-season games remaining before two potential finals, De Vanna will probably need to miss one game along the way.
She's had a break from playing since the USA's National Women's Soccer League in September, but will join United training on Wednesday and could play in their away clash against Melbourne Victory on December 28.
It means Canberra could boast an all-Matildas quality forward line with Michelle Heyman and Ashleigh Sykes already on their books.
The national coach recalled watching the Canberra-Adelaide game a few weeks ago and thinking De Vanna could've made a difference that day.
"It's obviously a big coup, but they've already got a strong squad so it just makes a good squad on paper even better," Stajcic said.
"She's just got that X-factor. Lisa can turn a game on its head at any moment.
"Obviously when your team's playing well she can produce magic moments, but when your team's not playing well she's that one person who can just make things happen out of nothing.
"That's where she's just an asset to a team like Canberra. I've watched them play quite a bit this year.
"They had a 2-all draw with Adelaide that I was at a couple of weeks ago and I was just thinking, 'If Lisa was playing in this game she could possibly just pull out something and win the game for your team'."
De Vanna, 32, contacted United after having a break following a busy 12 months that included the Olympic Games in Brazil and last year's World Cup.
Dower said they'd work on getting De Vanna match fit before deciding how best to use her for the remainder of the season.
"I think Lisa's probably one of your top five Matildas that we've ever produced as a nation," she said.
"She's obviously current co-captain of the Matildas and with a young [Canberra] squad as well this is another opportunity to bring in another experienced, world-class player into the environment to lift that environment and pass on her knowledge to the young girls around her.
"She's been around national team level for a very long time now and she's been right up there with one of the world's best in term's of a world-class player and a match-winner."
Stajcic was excited to see how De Vanna's inclusion would bolster an already potent Canberra United side.
He said they were clearly "one of the favourites" for the title following the signing.
Stajcic said De Vanna, Heyman and Sykes weren't the only Matildas-standard forwards now in Canberra's squad, with the injured Hayley Raso (quad) also in the Australian mix.
"They've got a really strong squad now so as long as they can keep them jelling as the year goes on, they'd have to be one of the favourites for the comp, you'd think," he said.
W-LEAGUE — ROUND 6
CANBERRA UNITED 5 (Nicky Flannery 13, 53, Stephanie Ochs 28, Ashleigh Sykes 50, 56) bt BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Emily Gielnick 92) at Gosford on Sunday.