The hidden impact of 10-year stalwart Polkinghorne at Brisbane

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Friday was Brisbane Roar’s day to celebrate for more than one reason.

A dominant 4-1 win against Canberra United, all but guaranteeing finals football, was one cause.

Captain and Roar icon Clare Polkinghorne’s tenth year with the club was another.

Polkinghorne’s leadership and experience on the pitch is self-evident, but it’s the things she does behind closed doors – according to Roar head coach Mel Andreatta – that make her special.

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“Her biggest contribution, I would say, is her willingness to always improve, no matter how much experience or success that she’s had,” said Andreatta.

“She wants to be better, and now as a senior player how much she does to help others be better is phenomenal.

“You guys probably only see 10% of what she does and that’s on matchday; but in training she’s getting around the young players, she’s leading our leadership meeting, she’s doing so much.

“She’s just really giving back to the game, and to the club that’s given her so many opportunities.”

Andreatta’s relationship with Polkinghorne goes back to their playing days in the local Brisbane leagues, Andreatta turning out for the likes of Taringa Rovers and The Gap FC before transitioning to coaching.

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It was Polkinghorne’s effortless ability to make teams Andreatta struggled to – despite Polkinghorne still being in high school – that wowed her.

“Personally, I think it’s funny. I thought when I was playing, I was the same age as her,” Andreatta said.

“But I worked it out a little while ago that I was about 15 years older than her. I was trying to get into the teams that she was in and she was a 15-year old.

“Having the opportunity to play with her and against her I’ll never forget.”

Andreatta summed Polkinghorne up best.

“She’s fantastic. That’s what you’re going to get from me really.”

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Ben Paynter
Loves Brisbane. Loves a pint. Loves a 'Kevin Muscat Bad Tackle' YouTube compilation.

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