Polkinghorne keeps Westfield Matildas heart of defence ticking

Westfield Matildas defender Clare Polkinghorne is relishing the football played under Head Coach Ante Milicic following Australia’s 4-1 win over Korea Republic on Sunday night. 

The Brisbane Roar stalwart, who’s amassed more 100 caps for the Green and Gold, watched on with glee from the heart of defence as Sam Kerr, Lisa De Vanna and Emily Gielnik dismantled the Taegeuk Nangja. 

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That’s brought the Westfield Matildas’ goal tally to six goals in two games, solid form as we near the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

“It’s always nice to score some goals and to only give away one goal, which was a set-piece, was really pleasing,” said Polkinghorne.

“It’s always nice to get a couple of wins together but you need to back up game after game, going into major tournaments.

“So that’s what we’re going to focus on — just recovering and making sure we’re in good shape come Wednesday."

While praising Gielnik’s incredible strike to signal Australia’s fourth goal, Polkinghorne also noted the important contributions of those coming off the bench. 

De Vanna

Caitlin Foord and Princess Ibini wreaked havoc upfront and were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, while Alex Chidiac looked lively when she was brought on in the last quarter of the game.

“(Gielnik has) got very powerful strike on her, when she cuts in on her right foot you know she’s going to get it on target and she’s very dangerous,” said Polkinghorne.

“I feel like all our subs came on and did a really good job and we still created right ‘til the end of the game.”

For Polkinghorne, Sunday night’s clash against Korea Republic was extra special. 

The 30-year-old defender was born and raised in Brisbane, playing her junior football for the Wynnum Wolves and Capalaba Bulldogs only a handful of kilometres away from Suncorp Stadium. 

Polkinghorne enjoyed every minute of the action as the Westfield Matildas got more than just the job done on her home turf.

“It’s always nice to play in Australia but when it’s your home town, it’s extra special in front of my family and friends — it doesn’t get much better.”

Clare Polkinghorne