Cheryl Salisbury brings curtain down on international career

The most capped football player for her country – male or female – is to bow out of international football. Westfield Matildas captain Cheryl Salisbury will bring down the curtain on her international career this Saturday against Italy.

The most capped football player for her country - male or female - is to bow out of international football.

A towering icon of Australian football, Westfield Matildas captain, Cheryl Salisbury will retire from international competition when the Matildas host the Italian women's team in an international friendly this Saturday at Parramatta Stadium.

Salisbury, 35 in March, has made 150 'A' international appearances for Australia in a career which began in 1994 against Russia. She scored the first of her 37 goals on debut.

She has been captain of the Westfield Matildas since 2003 and easily outpaces the highest capped male player (former Socceroo Alex Tobin with 87 appearances).

Salisbury represented Australia in the 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments, the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games and the 2006 and 2008 Asian Football Confederation Women's Cup.

FIFA has twice honoured her by naming her in the FIFA Women's World XI squad in 2004 and 2007.

A proud Novocastrian and graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport, Salisbury's club football teams have included Adamstown and Lambton as a junior as well as Newcastle Jets in the Westfield Women's League which finished its inaugural season two weeks ago.

She has also played with Victoria and Northern NSW in the old women's national soccer league, and she played for two years in the US Women's League and three years in the Japan Women's League.

“Cheryl Salisbury is an icon of Australian women's sport," said Football Federation AUS (FFA) CEO, Ben Buckley.

"She is a superb athlete who would have excelled at any sport she chose to play, and we are very fortunate that her sport of first choice is football.

“Cheryl is a credit to the sport, to the Westfield Matildas and, of course, to herself, and she has the appreciation and best wishes of the entire football family for the future. She can retire knowing she is without peer in football."

Buckley said that Salisbury is an inspiration to other players and shows the world of opportunity available in football for young elite athletes.

Salisbury makes her final appearance in the green and gold this Saturday when the Westfield Matildas take on Italy in the first of a two match series at Parramatta Stadium.

The match between the Westfield Matildas and Italy kicks-off at 4.00pm AEDT on Saturday 31 January 2009 at Parramatta Stadium. Tickets are available from Ticketek or by telephoning 132 849.