Matildas captain Lisa de Vanna says she's joining Canberra United to help mentor a new generation of players, adamant she has to earn a place in the team despite being regarded as one of the world's best.
The biggest signing in Canberra United history will join her new teammates for the first time on Wednesday after agreeing to a guest-player contract for the W-League season.
The veteran of 117 internationals will be a part of one of the most lethal attacking combinations the league has seen, linking with Michelle Heyman, Ash Sykes, Stephanie Ochs, Jasmyne Spencer and Nicki Flannery.
De Vanna stepped away from playing duties for the past two months to mentally and physically recover after a hectic year, which included Australia's heartbreaking exit from the Rio Olympic Games.
The Matildas lost to Brazil in a quarter-final shoot out and missed out on a chance to win a medal.
"When [Canberra coach Rae Dower] first touched base with me I gave her a straight answer that I didn't know where I was at," de Vanna said.
"I needed to give myself a break because it was a tough Olympic Games for me mentally with the way we went out. It took me a very long time to recover from it.
"I've never had time off in my career so I focused on other things and coaching ... somehow Rae and I touched base again and after an hour here we are."
De Vanna has played for almost every team in the W-League following stints at Perth, Newcastle, the Melbourne Victory, Brisbane and Melbourne City.
Her arrival in Canberra is a daunting prospect for the club's W-League rivals and came on the same day United belted the Brisbane Roar 5-1.
Canberra has scored more goals than any team in the competition this season and a looming combination with Heyman and Sykes will strike fear into the hearts of defenders.
But de Vanna is equally as excited by the chance to work with Canberra's teenage players to be a mentor and put her coaching practice to work.
"Football has been my life ... I'm at that age now where I've got to start thinking about life after football," de Vanna said.
"I got involved with a bit of coaching and time went so quickly [when I wasn't playing]. Coaching was a lot harder than I thought to be honest.
"I'm hungry now, I'm going into a new environment and I'm more excited that Rae is giving me a chance to work with the young girls. That's something I'm quite passionate about.
"I'm not coming to Canberra to walk straight into a team, I just want to be able to have an impact and I know in Canberra I can be the player I am without the pressure."
De Vanna moved to Canberra almost immediately after finalising a deal to train with the squad and show Dower she's ready to commit to the capital.
Canberra will play two games in five days when they clash against the Melbourne Victory on December 28 and Sydney FC on January 2.
De Vanna was sent off when she played against Canberra last season and has been one of the club's fiercest rivals on the field.
"There's no love lost between me and Canberra, we've got a bit of a history," de Vanna joked.
"But they're a good team and I feel like I'm not walking into a team and trying to carry it. They've got the depth and quality where I can be an impact player.
"Hopefully I can offer some guidance to the young girls, I just want to be that example because I think it's important for the future."