Clare Polkinghorne is playing in a record fifth World Cup. (Photo: Ann Odong FFA)

Ahead of the two Olympic Qualifiers against Uzbekistan, Clare Polkinghorne spoke candidly about her 18 year professional footballing career and how she manages to get the best out of her body year-after-year.

After becoming the most capped Matildas player in February last year, you might think that Clare Polkinghorne doesn’t find pulling on the green and gold that special anymore, you’d be wrong.

“I think throughout my whole career and with the Matilda’s, it’s always special but you do experience it in different ways,” Polkinghorne said.

“[You get] the same feeling of pride and representing your country is always there and [is] something that I never take for granted and I always enjoy being part of the group.

“I think for me, I think it’s about doing all the ‘small things’ [like] just making sure that you are doing everything that you can to put yourself in the best position, whether it’s your sleep, your recovery, your rehab, your pre-hab, all those little things that impact you.

“I guess [I’m] always wanting to improve and be better, and that competitiveness is always there.”

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Over her career, Polkinghorne has played in five FIFA Women’s World Cups and two Olympics campaigns with a third on the cards in Paris. She explained how she has managed to continue to improve and seek a new challenge in the game.

“I think that’s the beauty with football, I think there’s always something in the game that you can improve [on],” she said.

“Especially in the Women’s game, it changes really, really quickly, so there’s always something that you need to work on or something in the game [that] changes and you need to improve that.

“It’s something that probably has kept me in the game, is trying to look for ways to be better and to make sure that I’m continually being a better version of myself.”

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