Captain Clare to lead by example

Combative Brisbane Roar defender Clare Polkinghorne will wear the captain’s armband for the 2009 Westfield W-League season, replacing Kate McShea as the team’s onfield leader.

Combative Brisbane Roar defender Clare Polkinghorne will wear the captain-s armband for the 2009 Westfield W-League season, replacing Kate McShea as the team-s onfield leader.

The former Queensland Lions player has taken over the role from inaugural skipper McShea, who has stepped aside to allow one of the younger squad members take up the all-important leadership position.

“I-m happy to be passing it onto her,” McShea said.

“She-s been an influential player for our team and it won-t be too much of a transition as she has always had those leadership qualities."

Coach Jeff Hopkins says he had the long-term future of the team in mind when he made the decision.

“This is a transition period for us, and we don-t just have short-term goals to think about,” he said.

“Kate will be around to mentor her, and I-m hoping this will encourage some of the younger players to step up and take responsibility on and off the field”.

At just 20 years of age Polkinghorne brings a wealth of experience to the role.

Aside from being an integral part of the Roar-s history-making 2008 Westfield W-League championship side, Polkinghorne is also a Matildas veteran with 30 appearances and two goals to her name after making her debut against China three years ago.

Despite her experience, Polkinghorne said she wouldn-t take the overly vocal approach as captain.

“I-m not as talkative as some captains out there, but I-ll try to lead by example and do my part for the team.”

Brisbane born and bred, Polkinghorne said she was looking forward to leading the newly-named side in their opening round game at Ballymore Stadium on 3 October.

“I-m pretty excited and looking forward to the first game,” the Matildas defender said.

“The off season always drags out a bit but we-ve been training hard and I-m confident we can continue our good form from last year.”

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