It has has been a whirlwind year for Emily van Egmond, and a four-game guest stint back where it all began is set to top it off.
The home-grown Matildas midfielder has signed a short-term contract with the Newcastle Jets, who are coached by her dad Gary, and will be unleashed on Sunday when they host big guns Melbourne City at No.2 Sportsground.
It will be van Egmond's 60th outing for the Jets, where she made her A-League debut as a 15-year-old in 2008, and a game-changing addition for the club.
The now 30-year-old is one of Australia's most experienced players with 137 caps for her country and was in peak form as she helped lead the Matildas to a history-making semi-final in front of sell-out crowds at this year's World Cup on home soil.
"It's an amazing feeling and one that I'm super appreciative of, to get this opportunity to have a few games here, to have a stint ... and I'm honestly just as excited as everyone else to be back," van Egmond said on Friday.
The timing could not be better, for both the Jets and van Egmond.
Newcastle are looking to get their season back on track after a devastating 4-0 loss to Melbourne Victory and van Egmond is keen to "keep ticking over" with international friendlies looming for the Matildas against Canada in two weeks then Olympic qualifiers in February.
The Dudley Redhead United Football Club junior claimed the National Women's Soccer League minor title with San Diego in America but returned home to Newcastle a week ago when the Wave's season concluded.
"I've had a really good time over in America. We've just won the [National Women's Soccer League] shield there, which is massive," van Egmond said.
"It's a young team here. You can see the things that the club are trying to do, and trying to implement, and to come back and to see it, be part of it, is something that is truly special for myself being a local Newcastle girl, and to help the younger generation and future stars of the game coming through.
"If I can lead by any example, give my experience in any possible way, I'll hope to do that, and just to enjoy myself being back in here in Newcastle."
The Newcastle Herald understands the Jets will also be boosted by the addition of striker Sarina Bolden, who famously scored the Philippines' first goal at a World Cup in their 1-0 win over New Zealand in July.
"We're at home, so hopefully we can get as many people out to this game as we can this weekend and have the girls fully supported by Newcastle, which I know the fans here are amazing," van Egmond said.
"It's going to be a tough game for us. They're a great team.
"They've always been a strong team in the league and we'll look to do what we obviously need to do and be as competitive as we can ... I'm just really looking to enjoy myself here and enjoy the fact that I get to be in Jets colours again."
Kick-off is at 4pm.
Meanwhile, the Jets' men's F3 Derby set down for Saturday, November 25 has been moved to Central Coast Stadium due to ongoing turf renovations at McDonald Jones Stadium following the recent Supercross event there.
The reverse A-League round-19 fixture that was initially scheduled to be played in Gosford will now be played in Newcastle on Saturday, March 2.
There are no A-League men's matches this weekend.
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