Defender Clare Polkinghorne

  • Height 171cm
  • D.O.B. 1/2/89
Jersey Number


Australian Cap Number: 140

Debut: 19-Jun-2006 v China (in Shanghai) International Friendly (L0-2) age 17

Caps (Goals): 166 (16)

Major Tournaments: 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup (China), 2008 AFC Asian Cup (Vietnam), 2010 AFC Asian Cup (China), 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup (Germany), 2014 AFC Asian Cup (Vietnam), 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup (Canada), 2016 Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro), 2018 AFC Asian Cup (Jordan), 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (France), 2020 Olympic Games (Tokyo), 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup (India), 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup (Australia & New Zealand).

Current Club: Kristianstads DFF

Previous Clubs: Vittsjö GIK, INAC Kobe Leonessa, Portland Thorns, Houston Dash, Brisbane Roar, Avaldnses IL

Clare 'Polks' Polkinghorne is Australia’s all-time highest-capped player and is the heart and soul of the Matildas. The defender made her record-breaking 152nd appearance for Australia during the 2023 Cup of Nations, surpassing fellow central defender Cheryl Salisbury's record, marking her monumental game with a goal against Czechia.

Since debuting with the national team in 2006, she has been a near-constant presence in the changeroom – someone who is a leader, not just on the pitch, but off it as well.

Tom Sermanni was the CommBank Matildas coach that gave her that debut in 2006 and called her up for her first FIFA Women's World Cup in 2007. In those early days, she was much more of a utility player that was able to come off the bench and fill the gaps that the team needed.

At the age of 21 came one of her career highlights – the Asian Cup victory of 2010. She was part of the first Australian side to win a continental trophy, something that the CommBank Matildas have not repeated since.

It’s difficult to imagine the CommBank Matildas without the presence of the Queenslander. After the 2010 Asian Cup triumph she went on to be selected in the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cup squads. She’s also a two-time Olympian, representing Australia at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

She has been there, either on the field or in the dressing room for some of the CommBank Matildas' great triumphs - including a first-ever World Cup knockout win in 2015, a first-ever victory over the United States in 2017, and a first-ever Olympics semi-final appearance in 2021.

Even though she has spent the majority of her career in the heart of defence, she has managed to wrack up 16 national team goals. Her celebrations are always memorable.

Clare’s domestic career has only been with one club, Brisbane Roar, where she has over 100 appearances and has won the A-League Women’s Premiership, Grand Final and Julie Dolan Medal twice each.

Cup of Nations 2023

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