Karly Roestbakken's return to Canberra United had been 649 days in the making, but it was an easy decision for the defender.
She suited up in a green jersey on Friday - in her side's 1-0 loss to Melbourne City - for the first time since February 2020.
The 20-year-old came on in the 62nd minute, slotting into centreback, to mark her comeback from injury and her longest match-minutes this year.
"Obviously 30 minutes, that's the most that I've done in a while," she said.
"To get out there and get the legs ticking over again, and to be in an actual game, it feels so nice and just refreshing to be honest.
"I love being back home. I'm such a homebody, so it's really nice to be home and to be back in front of the fans again, it's unreal. I've really missed it."
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Roestbakken joined the team on Wednesday off the back end of a Matildas camp, before her signing was confirmed on Friday morning.
Her United signing was announced eight and half hours out from the side's season opener against City. Roestbakken, however, said her decision to try and secure more match fitness before her return to Europe was quick to be locked in but had been on her mind for a while.
"It happened over a couple of weeks. I had been thinking about it for quite some time and had been in [talks] with Vicki. It was the perfect amount of time to come back and get some games in and and play with the girls," she said.
"I've missed this whole year playing, I haven't played a 90 minute game in a year. So ... this was the perfect time to come back, and also play with the girls and play with Vicki.
"I've heard really great things about her from a few of the girls, so it was just it was really easy decision for me. I really wanted game time and ... to come back and play here."