Nine days out from her side’s W-League season kick off Brisbane Roar foundation player Clare Polkinghorne is gearing up for her tenth season in orange.

After a seventh place finish in last season’s competition – the lowest in the club’s history – Polkinghorne says the Roar are more balanced across the pitch and better equipped to push for finals football this time round.

“We obviously didn’t have the best season last year in terms of results but we did put in place a solid foundation that we’ve been able to build on for this coming season,” she said.

“We’ve added some experience and quality to the squad and we’re looking to improve on our results last year and get back into the semi-finals.”

The 28-year old is confident her side will benefit from a full pre-season under head coach Mel Andreatta who joined the club in late pre-season ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

“She’s [Andreatta] had a lot of time to plan and to set the foundation and to recruit some key players,” Polkinghorne explained.

“I think we’re in a much better position than we were this time last year.

“We’ll try to play a nice, attacking brand of football.”

The Roar’s only remaining foundation player, the defender enters her tenth season at the two-time W-League Champions.

Polkinghorne maintains her longevity comes down to good luck with injuries and says the W-League has provided her with a solid base to help forge her career as a Matilda.

At the same time she notes the standard of the competition both on and off the pitch is continuing to grow.

“The calibre of international players wanting to come over now is extremely high and if we can attract those sorts of players internationally then it’s only going to improve our league,” she said.

“This season we’ve seen the introduction of the minimum standards and the minimum pay for players, they’re all steps in making sure that we continue to grow the game.”

Polkinghorne comes into the season high in confidence after winning the Tournament of Nations and claiming back-to-back wins over Brazil with the Matildas in recent months.

Embed from Getty Images

Alongside Polkinghorne in the national set-up were her Roar teammates Hayley Raso and Mackenzie Arnold, who Polkinghorne sees as key players for the 2017/18 season.

“Macca and Raso for me have been two players who have really stepped up their game,” she said, “they’re really growing as players and are maturing as players as well.

“They’re hitting some really good form and if they can carry that into the W-League then I’m sure they’re going to be really important players for our chances this season.”

Brisbane Roar kick off their W-League campaign next Friday away to Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

SHARE
Currently studying a Bachelor of Digital Media and Communication at Southern Cross University, Thibault is a digital content editor at Gold Coast City and works as a football correspondent for APN Newspapers. Olympique Lyon and Socceroos fan, passionate about the growth of football in Australia.