Matildas past and present pay tribute to Collette McCallum after the midfielder announced her international retirement, bringing down the curtain on a stellar career in the green and gold.

Kathryn Gill

Collette is a phenomenal talent and she was from such a young age and the impact that she has had on the women’s game has been enourmous. She has been the backbone for so many of the Matildas biggest achievements at major tournaments. Her goal against China was one of those moments that put the Matildas on the map and she has done so much for the women’s game. Collette should look back on her career, with such fond memories of what she has achieved. She is one of the most technically gifted players we have had and she has set an example to so many of our young players.

Heather Garriock

She has made a massive contribution and set the standard for players coming through, she is the most gifted player I have played with. The free-kick she scored at the World Cup for us really stands out for me, it seemed almost effortless. She has helped to forge the culture around the squad and set a very high standard.

Kim Carroll

Technically she is a quality player and what she has added to the Matildas over the last ten years has been enormous. Her ability to hit the top corner from pretty much anywhere was unbelievable. She was always working on her technique and was the benchmark for the majority of players in the Matildas. I think she will continue to inspire the next generation of young players who will be desperate to reach the standards she set.

Lydia Williams

She has been so important to Australian Football, and been a key part in so many important matches. Collette has so many footballing smarts that she has passed on to the rest of the squad but she will be very hard to replace. We have been teammates and friends for a long time and it’s going to be very different and difficult not having her there anymore. I hope that all our younger players noticed that despite being plagued by injuries she was world class in everything she did.

Melissa Barberi

She gave us this element of class wherever we played; her free-kicks alone and just her ability on the ball made her a big threat to other countries. Collette is a shy character and we always forgot about her because she is so shy and humble and then she would step up and take a free-kick and you would realise again just how good she was. Being an opposition goalkeeper in the W-League against her I would always threaten people and say not to give free-kicks away at the top of the box. She has been instrumental in showing the younger players what it took to be good at something. She wasn’t good at free-kicks naturally, she was gifted, but her work ethic saw her hit 40 to 50 free-kicks after every session. Her technical ability was by far the best we have seen in Australian football.