Ellie Brush and Michelle Heyman have been announced as Canberra United's co-captains ahead of their opening match for the 2016/17 W-League season.

The duo assumes the captaincy from Nicole Begg who has taken an sabbatical from the W-League this season.

"It's great and of course a huge honour," said Brush.

"But to be honest, I would've taken it upon myself to step up and be one of the leaders in the group whether I had the "C" next to my name or not.  It really doesn't change anything for me."

Brush's attitude is no surprise given the 28 year old is one of the most decorated and respected players in the W-League.

A foundation member of United, Brush has amassed 94 games in green and has been a key member of Canberra's two premierships and championships, including as captain of their unbeaten 2011–12 double.

She shares the captaincy with another decorated player in Michelle Heyman.  As well as the W-League team silverware, Heyman also has personal honours which include two W-League Golden Boots (2009, 2011–12) and the Julie Dolan Medal for Player of the Year (2009).  Heyman is also the all-time leading W-League goalscorer with 54 goals.

"It's special to share it with Michelle," said Brush of her new co-captain.

"She's got a lot of experience too and knows the league well.  It'll be good to share the off the field load more than anything!"


Brush returns to the Canberra United captaincy after several years of growth and stepping out of her comfort zone.

"I've definitely grown as much in this past year as a person and player more than I ever have in a year before."

"I didn't really realise it at the time but it's noticeable now when I'm back in a familiar environment just how much I do things differently now than I did this time last year."

The past two seasons has seen the Canberra native spend six months of the year with NWSL side Houston Dash.  While she shared the experience with former Canberra teammate Lydia Williams last season, Brush ultimately jumped into the unfamiliar.


She credits that NWSL experience for her growth and improved outlook.  With Canberra's new look side that includes several young and experienced players, Brush's leadership will be required possibly more now than ever.

"I've spent every day with some amazing professionals particularly Becca Moros and Carli Lloyd as well."

"I learned a hell of a lot from them and I think I'm a lot more professional in the way I go about everything off and on the field."

"I'll want to try and impart some of what I've learnt on the younger group we have this year, but even on the coaching staff and really try and lift the training environment and Club as a whole."

Canberra United commence their season against defending champions Melbourne City this Saturday at GIO Stadium.