Already a veteran of one FIFA Women’s World Cup, Brisbane Roar captain Clare Polkinghorne is confident her big game experiences over the past four years have been ideal preparation for this year’s edition of the tournament.
Polkinghorne made her Westfield Matildas debut as a 17-year-old in a friendly against China before she was picked in coach Tom Sermanni-s squad to compete in the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup in China.
Since then, the former Queensland Lions junior-s career has reached remarkable heights.
As a huge part of the Brisbane Roar squad who has dominated the Westfield W-League-s first three seasons, Polkinghorne has two league titles to her name with the extra satisfaction knowing the second one she achieved leading the team with the captain-s armband.
She was also one of the most influential players in the Westfield Matildas squad that won the AFC Women-s Asian Cup last May and capped off a memorable twelve months in 2010 by being crowned FFA-s Female Footballer of the Year.
With just one month remaining until the 2011 FIFA Women-s World Cup kicks off in Germany, the ever-consistent 22-year-old said she was looking to add another medal to her already impressive tally.
“I-m really excited, it-s going to be my second World Cup but it-s a whole different experience for me,” she said.
“Last time, I wasn-t involved in the qualifying and I was really one of those fringe players that was lucky to be chosen in the squad.
“This time round, I have a lot more experience to bring to the squad so I-m really looking forward to it.”
In 2007, the Westfield Matildas progressed to the quarter-finals where they were knocked out of the competition by eventual runners-up Brazil.
This time around, Australia has drawn Brazil in the group stage alongside Equatorial Guinea and Norway, and Polkinghorne said it was imperative to start the tournament on a high note by putting in a strong performance against their South American opponents.
“Every time you go into a big tournament, you want to get out of your group and improve on your performance the last time,” Polkinghorne said.
“We would be disappointed if we didn-t make it out of the group and we have the confidence and the belief within us to know that we can.
“There-s no bigger way to start the World Cup than playing against Brazil and we have to make sure we start the game strongly so that we can get off to a good start in the World Cup.”