Brisbane Roar legend Clare Polkinghorne is set to depart the Club for a new opportunity in Europe following next weekend’s final Westfield W-League regular season game at Lions Stadium.
Polkinghorne will make the switch to Vittsjo GIK in Sweden’s top tier after the Roar agreed to release her from her contract in Brisbane.
While leaving with mixed emotions, the 32-year-old defender said she was thankful for the Roar’s co-operation in helping make the move happen.
“An opportunity came up in Sweden and the Club has been really supportive in me pursuing that opportunity,” Polkinghorne said.
“Obviously the timing of it all is disappointing for me, but it’s an opportunity I need to take to ensure that I’m playing regular football at a high standard throughout the year and preparing in the best possible environment for the Olympics.
“Right from the start the Club has been very accommodating and it helps that we have had open communication throughout the whole process.
“It’s a club I love playing for. We’ve had a very solid year and it’s a whole team effort. No matter who is on the field we’ve got the players to do the job and I’ve got 100 per cent confidence in the players to do that.
“I’m not going to say this is the last time I will wear orange, but it is the last time this season.”
Roar CEO David Pourre said the two-time Julie Dolan Medal winner, who recently made her 151st Westfield W-League appearance, would depart with the Club’s best wishes.
“Clare is a Brisbane Roar legend and will always be a Brisbane Roar legend regardless of where she’s playing,” Pourre said.
“We worked hard to bring her back to the Club before the season and have been extremely proud to see her back in action in Brisbane throughout her 13th Westfield W-League season.
“This is an opportunity she felt she had to take and out of respect for her and her achievements we were prepared to accommodate that.
“Everyone at the Roar wishes Clare the best of luck for this next move and especially in her upcoming commitments with the Westfield Matildas.”
Head Coach Jake Goodship joined Pourre in applauding Polkinghorne’s remarkable contribution to the Club.
“I don’t think it’s ever going to be matched, to stay at one club and be as successful as she has been, winning trophies and personal accolades and playing 150 games,” Goodship said.
“She basically symbolises what Brisbane Roar stands for.
“As hard as it is losing Clare, she has done the utmost work behind the scenes to ensure the confidence is high in the players stepping up to fill her shoes.”
Polkinghorne’s final appearance will come at home to Newcastle Jets on Sunday, 28 March as the second-placed Roar look to sew up a Finals Series spot.