Retiring Matilda Dianne Alagich © Getty Images

The PFA wishes to pay tribute to long serving Matilda, Dianne Alagich, who retired fittingly as a winner from the national team when the Matildas beat New Zealand 1-0 on Saturday.

Dianne made her international debut at the tender age of 16 and appeared 86 times in an outstanding international career and holds the distinction of starting every single one of Australia’s World Cup and Olympic games matches from 1999 to 2007 involving the Women’s World Cup tournaments in 1999, 2003 and 2007 and the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games.

In her club career, Dianne represented Port Adelaide, West Adelaide, Adelaide Sensation, the South Australian Institute of Sport and the San Jose CyberRays in the US Women’s League.

Dianne’s career, despite her enormous achievements, also demonstrates the precarious nature of a professional footballer.  Di was sidelined for two years when she required a knee reconstruction in 1996, having earlier suffered knee injuries in 2001 and 2003.

While Dianne has retired from the international arena, she plans to continue playing in the new national women’s league, which is to be launched soon by FFA. The PFA is currently involved in providing input into the establishment of the national women’s league on behalf of the players, with the Matildas having joined the PFA in 2007. All Matildas are entitled to the full range of member benefits, including PFA Education grants. The PFA also regularly advises Matildas on career issues especially in relation to overseas contracts in countries such as the USA, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said, “Dianne has been an outstanding representative of women’s football and all professional footballers. As an ambassador of the My Football Career programme with Tony Vidmar, she set an example for professionalism on and off the field for the current and next generation of players. The PFA would like to wish her all the best as she continues to the next phase of her professional career.”