Westfield Matildas attacker announces her retirement

In a major shock, Westfield Matildas striker and Canberra United star Ashleigh Sykes has confirmed on Friday she has retired from her professional playing career.

The 26-year-old made the announcement after United's Westfield W-League campaign, meaning she won't play in the 2018 National Women's Soccer League in the US with Portland Thorns.

Sykes has had a glittering career, which has included 20 caps for the Westfield Matildas, scoring six goals.

She played at both the 2015 Women’s FIFA World Cup in Canada, as well as the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Sykes’ World Cup debut came in the opening match of the 2015 tournament, coming off the bench against eventual champions USA.

In the Westfield W-League, she played all 10 seasons at Canberra United, winning three Premierships and two Championships with the club in that time.

"I've had a great time playing for Canberra United, and made a lot of friends while here," Sykes said.

"No matter who was in charge I always felt like I had a home and room to grow and develop as a person and a player.

"I look forward to cheering them on from the stands next season at McKellar Park."

Ash sykes waves v Perth
Ashleigh Sykes in action for Canberra United in the Westfield W-League.

The speedy forward picked up the Julie Dolan Medal for Player of the Season in Season Eight where she helped United to the semi-finals.

Sykes also won the Golden Boot the following season, thanks to an eight-goal haul in a sensational January that saw her finish on 12 goals.

Sykes made 108 appearances for Canberra in the Westfield W-League, scoring 41 goals and establishing herself as one of the competition's premier forwards.

She will continue her role within Capital Football as Manager of Game Development.