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Heyman set to try attacking midfield role

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Emma Kemp

When Canberra United kick off their W-League campaign against Melbourne City, perhaps don't expect to see striker Michelle Heyman in front of goal.

The Matildas markswoman has revealed she's set to experiment into an attacking midfield role for the first time in her decorated, near decade-long senior career.

The move coincides with the arrival of gun American striker Jasmyne Spencer, who was poached from Sydney FC and used to play alongside Heyman at NSWL outfit Western New York Flash.

Slipping in behind Spencer will be a different kettle of fish for Heyman who, with nearly 50 goals over six seasons for United, is used to leading the line.

But the 28-year-old is eager to add another string to her bow.

"I think I'm playing a new role this season as an attacking midfielder just to create something different," Heyman told AAP.

"It's going to be a whole new experience for myself and a learning step.

"I'm trying to learn this completely different role and it's hard to do when we haven't had our squad together.

"Jazzy is one of the quickest people I know, and she's just a goal-scorer.

"We're both very similar players."

Normally stable United have the most-changed squad in the club's history as they chase a third title.

At coach Rae Dowler's disposal is probably the league's most potent attack of Heyman, Spencer, Ashleigh Sykes, Hayley Raso and Stephanie Ochs.

"We're going to be the fastest team by far on the pitch," Heyman said.

"We've just got to realise and understand how much our team is going to change because there's six attacking players and hardly any defenders.

"That's going to be a challenge for us."

Stalwart Ellie Brush remains the anchor while Japanese World Cup-winning defender Yukari Kinga is also due to join pending visa issues.

But their defensive resolve will be tested with former captain Nicole Begg taking the season off and world-class Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams moving to City.

United will come face to face with Williams for the first time at Canberra Stadium on Saturday in their opening match following a first-round bye.

The game is a curtain-raiser to Central Coast's A-League clash with Wellington.

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