Elise Thorsnes hopes she can be the goal-scoring spark Canberra United is searching for when she makes her W-League comeback just days after a 30-hour journey to Australia.
Thorsnes will be injected into Canberra's side for the clash against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday after joining the club as a guest player this season.
The Norwegian international veteran scored six goals in nine games for Canberra two years ago, but needed hamstring surgery at the end of her stint and missed the next eight months.
She will be walking into a new team with just three players left from her previous time in the capital, but Thorsnes is hoping goals negate the need for teammates' name tags.
"I had fun here last time so I wanted to come back here and experience it again," Thorsnes said.
"I've got more experience this time and I'm fitter and healthier. I haven't had any serious injuries this year, so hopefully I'm in better shape.
"I'm used to coming into new teams, but it's harder to learn Australian names than Norwegian names. I don't think I knew all the names by the end of my time when I was here last.
"I think [coach Heather Garriock] wants me to score goals. I'm a bit shy, but I want to be a leader as well to help the younger ones."
Thorsnes made her debut for Norway as a teenager and has played 121 internationals, scoring 20 goals since her first game in 2006.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
She has spent most of her career in Europe, but her season with Canberra in 2017-18 was her first international stint and paved the way for her to join the Utah Royals the following year.
But injury has limited the 31-year-old attacker for the past two years, playing 30 club games after having to sit on the sideline for an extended period after rupturing her hamstring tendon.
The unexpected benefit of the longest break of her 13-year career was giving her body a chance to refresh and recharge.
"The big difference between the Australian and Norwegian league is the sprinting, so I'm expecting it to be like that again," Thorsnes said.
"It's been a long season, but I feel like I'm in good shape and injury free. Maybe I'll need a few games to get into how we play here, but I'll be doing my best.
"You never want injuries, but it does make you appreciate what you're doing more.
"You become more of a professional after an injury. You're more aware of telling the coach when I don't feel well, I'm 31 so I know my body well enough now."
Thorsnes' arrival has been offset by American import Katie Stengel's ankle injury, which is set to keep her out for at least one week.
Stengel's absence has opened the door for coach Heather Garriock to call on a young gun to step up for her first W-League game, with 17-year-old Hayley Taylor-Young in contention for a spot in the side.
Taylor-Young scored a remarkable 30 goals in 17 games in the Capital Football premier league this season, impressing Garriock enough to earn a shot in the W-League squad. Jessie Rasschaert and Taren King have dropped out of the game-day squad.
W-LEAGUE ROUND THREE
Saturday: Newcastle Jets v Canberra United at Newcastle, 4.30pm.
Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Hannah BREWER, 6.Cassidy DAVIS, 7.Gema SIMON, 9.Tara ANDREWS, 10.Libby COPUS-BROWN, 11.Pana PETRATOS, 12.Tessa TAMPLIN, 13.Lauren ALLAN, 17.Jenna KINGSLEY, 18.Clare WHEELER, 19.Nicki FLANNERY, 20.Claire COELHO (gk), 25.Teigan COLLISTER, 30.Nicole SIMONSEN (gk), 31.Paige KINGSTON-HOGG
Canberra United squad: 1.Annalee GROVE (gk), 2.Laura HUGHES, 3.Kaleigh KURTZ, 5.Nikola ORGILL (c), 6.Emma STANBURY, 7.Simone CHARLEY, 8.Olivia PRICE, 10.Camila PEREIRA, 11.Elise THORSNES, 12.Hayley TAYLOR-YOUNG, 15.Ashlie CROFTS, 16.Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 19.Leena KHAMIS, 20.Shamiran KHAMIS (gk), 21.Rebekah HORSEY, 23.Lauren KEIR