Late start no hurdle for Heyman

Just two years ago, Michelle Heyman had no idea there was career path in women's football.

Just two years ago, Michelle Heyman had no idea there was career path in women's football.

Growing up on the NSW South Coast, she was oblivious to the achievements of the Matildas and treated the game more a casual hobby than a serious pursuit.

The W-League was but a pipedream.

How different things are today.

The Central Coast striker needed a trailer to take a haul of trophies home after winning three major awards - Player-of-the-Year, Golden Boot and Hat-Trick prize - at Monday's Westfield W-League ceremony in Sydney.

It was richly deserved recognition for Heyman, who scored 11 goals from 10 games (including one of the competion's two hat-tricks for the season).

Her form helped the Mariners into second spot on the table, a point behind Sydney FC heading into the finals.

"I'm a very late starter. I played rugby union and touch football as a young girl and I didn't think of soccer as a professional sport I wanted to do," Heyman told Sportal after receiving her Player-of-the Year gong.

"When the W-League started, that's when I became really interested."

"I didn't really know much about the Matildas growing up in Shellharbour, but moving up to Sydney and playing for the Central Coast opened my eyes."

"Now I want to achieve as much as I possibly can in the game."

"I'm pretty excited to win these awards."

"I didn't think I was any hope. It's a big accomplishment, so I'm really happy."

Heyman paid credit to coach Stephen Roche for her rapid improvement, the coach also finding himself on the dais after sharing the Coach-of-the-Year award with Canberra's Ray Junna.

"It's always good to be recognised by your peers but most of it (the credit) should go to the players because if they're not receptive to what we're trying to do, it doesn't matter how good you are," Roche said.

"As a coach, hopefully I have earned their respect, as they have earned mine as players,"

Junna said of his award: "It's good to be recognised but all the other coaches should get one because it can be a difficult job."

"We gave every team a run for their money without kicking them off the park, so I think the other coaches acknowledged that."

"We've come a long way with a very young side."