Westfield Matildas announce co-captains

Westfield Matildas head coach Hesterine de Reus has announced that Kate Gill and Clare Polkinghorne have been named co-captains of the Westfield Matildas.

Westfield Matildas Head Coach Hesterine de Reus today announced that Kate Gill and Clare Polkinghorne have been named co-captains of the Westfield Matildas for the upcoming international matches against the Football Ferns (New Zealand-s Women-s National Team) (Canberra 13 & 16 June) and European Tour matches against the Netherlands Women-s National team (29 June), Dutch club side Ado Den Haag (2 July) and world No.5, France Women-s National team (6 July).

The announcement of the new Westfield Matildas leadership group comes after de Reus has held a number of training camps with the Westfield Matildas at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

“I have chosen Kate and Clare for these roles as they are very experienced players and showed responsibility and leadership in our first camps together,” said de Reus

“The reason that I have elected to have co-captains is that I like to share the load between the two players, although I expect all players to take leadership roles and responsibility on the pitch.

“Kate will wear the armband onto the field whenever possible, but both will take on captaincy duties off the field as required ,” concluded de Reus.

Gill was humbled to be asked to lead the Westfield Matildas alongside her teammate Polkinghorne.

“Having been a member of the Matildas family for a long time under some fantastic captains and with great players, it-s humbling to have the support of the coaching staff and current group of players for this leadership role,” said Gill.

Polkinghorne was equalled honoured to take on the leadership role.

“It-s great honour and not something I thought would happen. I-ll take this role with pride and do it justice,” concluded Polkinghorne.

Having made her international debut in 2004 against New Zealand, Gill has earned 72 caps for the Westfield Matildas and competed at the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup, 2008 AFC Women-s Asian Cup and the 2010 AFC Women-s Asian Cup where she helped the Westfield Matildas claim their inaugural continental Championship. A serious knee injury prevented Gill from participating at the 2011 FIFA Women-s World Cup. A renowned striker, Gill is currently the second highest goal scorer in Westfield Matildas History with 37 goals, one goal behind her former team-mate and captain Cheryl Salisbury. In 2010 Gill was named the AFC Women-s Player of the Year and has been an AFC Goodwill Ambassador.

Domestically, Gill was the top goal scorer award for the recent Westfield W-League season with her 11 goals for Perth Glory. Gill has also played her club football in Australia with the Newcastle Jets and overseas with AIK Fotboll Dam, Sunnanå SK, LdB Malmö and Linköping FC (all Sweden).

A Queensland born and bred defender, Polkinghorne made her international debut for the Westfield Matildas in 2006 against China and has made 60 A-International Appearances (2 goals) since which also includes appearances at the 2007 & 2011 FIFA Women-s World Cup and 2008 & 2010 AFC Women-s Asian Cup. Domestically, Polkinghorne is the current captain of the Brisbane Roar and is a foundation member of the club. In her five seasons at the Roar, Polkinghorne has helped lead the team to four Westfield W-League Grand Final appearances including two championships and a Westfield W-League premiership. Recently, Polkinghorne received the Julie Dolan medal as the top player of the Westfield W-League 2012/13 season.

Westfield Matildas - International Friendly Match Schedule - June/July 2013 Westfield Matildas (9) v New Zealand (20) Thursday 13 June 2013 AIS Athletics Track, Bruce, ACT Kick-Off 5:30pm Note: this is a closed door match only open to authorised media

Westfield Matildas (9) v New Zealand (20) Sunday 16 June 2013 McKellar Park, Belconnen, ACT Kick-Off 2:00pm Ticketing details to be announced shortly, please visit www.footballaustralia.com.au/tickets for further details

Netherlands (14) v Westfield Matildas (9) Saturday 29 June 2013 TATA Steel Stadion, Velsen-Zuid, Netherlands Kick-off - 7:00pm Please click here for Ticketing details.

Ado den Haag v Westfield Matildas Tuesday 2 July 2013 Kyocera stadium, The Hague, Netherlands Kick-off - 6:30pm

France (5) v Westfield Matildas (9) Saturday 6 July 2013 Venue - Angers Kick-off - TBA