Polkinghorne relishing selection dilemma in crucial Cup of Nations

The Westfield Matildas will look to give Alen Stajcic an almighty selection headache in next year’s Cup of Nations, says Clare Polkinghorne.

Australia will welcome Korea Republic, New Zealand and Argentina in a six-match tournament which serves as a launching pad into the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

And with a host of key players returning and emerging talent bursting onto the Westfield W-League scene, Polkinghorne, 29, knows the Cup of Nations looms as a crucial audition for a ticket to France.

“It’s going to be a tough job for the squad to be selected but that’s the way we want it, we want to make Staj’s [Alen Stajcic] job as hard as possible to choose the squad," the experienced defender said.

“The depth of the squad is going to be extremely important leading into the World Cup.

“We’re not going to get too many camps together before the World Cup so every time we are together it’s really important and these games are going to be a really important part of the preparation leading into France.”

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Australia entertain the Korea Republic on Matchday Two of the tournament, an affair that sees the Westfield Matildas return to Brisbane for the first time in four years.

A 2-1 win over Brazil in 2014 was the last time the Westfield Matildas were in the Queensland capital, and the Brisbane-born Polkinghorne is relishing the chance to don the green and gold in her hometown city once more.

“It’s not often you get to play in Australia let alone Brisbane the last time we played in Brisbane was against Brazil and that was a long time ago," she said.

“I’m looking forward to getting back home and playing in front of my family and friends and I know all the girls are really excited to be able to play on home soil.”

Polkinghorne primed for fierce Westfield W-League run home

The race for finals football in the Westfield W-League heats up over the Summer of Football, and Polkinghorne knows Brisbane Roar must maintain their momentum.

Brisbane edged competition frontrunners Melbourne Victory in a 4-3 thriller last Sunday, a match that saw the Roar go from eighth to third at the close of play.

Polkinghorne, an inaugural Roar defender with three Westfield W-League Premierships to her name, says this year’s title race is hanging in the balance ahead of Round Eight.

“It’s very close. There’s only a few points separating first place and seventh and eight now.

“It’s extremely close but we’re only halfway through so it’s important to keep getting as many points as we can and hopefully toward the end of the season e find ourselves at the right end of the table.”

READ: How to watch Westfield Matildas in Westfield W-League Round 8

Clare Polkinghorne