10 years on: Polkinghorne reflects on 2011 Grand Final


She’s been here from the very first minute and will go down as one of the greatest Brisbane Roar footballers ever, but how much does Clare Polkinghorne remember about that day, almost 10 years ago to the day, when we lifted the 2011 Westfield W-League Championship trophy?

We sat down with our captain courageous to get her memories from the contest and what we’re building here 10 years on.

Going down to play Sydney FC in Sydney, a year after they beat us in the Grand Final – do you remember being a little more fired up?
We had a pretty strong rivalry with Sydney FC. Every time you played them, you wanted to be at your best and we knew we had to be to beat them. It’s hard to go down there just in the regular season, but to go down there in a Grand Final when everything is on the line and the crowd is against you – I think it was even raining that day so it wasn’t a pretty day for football. You have to be the team that wants it more and that’s what we did.

The year before, Sydney beat us in the Grand Final so it was nice to get one back on them. There’s no better feeling than winning a Grand Final, that’s what you play football for – to play in those big games and win them. 


The winning goal had a unique celebration from Lisa De Vanna – do you remember that?
I do remember Lisa’s celebration – that’s typically of her personality and passion for the game. I remember she was really good for us that season and you need players who can change a game, especially in a Grand Final, and can make the game at any moment and she’s one of those players.

Just yourself, Kim Carroll & Tameka Yallop remain from that team – did you expect that you would be the last three remaining?
Obviously, they have left the club, experienced other things and found their way back. It’s been really nice to have Kim back this season and it’s great to play with players that you know really well, they know how you play and you know how they play – it’s a good experience to be back with those players again.

It’s definitely not something you think about, it’s funny how things work out. It’s always nice to be winning championships and they don’t come around very often so you have to enjoy the moment and hopefully we can experience that together again soon.

Carroll, Polkinghorne

We’re starting to pick up results this season and are building nicely – do you think this group has what it takes to go all the way?
It’s been a long time since we’ve been in a Grand Final, we’ve fallen short a number of times, but with the group we have this season, if we keep focusing and playing our football, there’s no reason why we can’t be there again.