Matildas and Brisbane Roar star Clare Polkinghorne tells the PFA what it is like to call the recently crowned FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Nadine Angerer a teammate and what it means for the W-League to have the best player in the world playing in the competition.

The training ground quickly gave the answer as to why she has been so successful. For most it rarely lies – the best on match days are usually the best trainers. When Nadine Angerer trained with the Brisbane Roar for the first time ahead of this W-League season it became apparent why she had achieved so much.

“She is such a hard worker and is very focused in her work,” Matildas defender Clare Polkinghorne said of the Ballon d’Or winner. “Her mentality and the way she tackles training is the reason why she has been so successful. Her work ethic is second to none.

“Seeing Nadine win the award made me feel so proud of her because you know all the work that has gone into getting her to that level. This is something that she definitely deserves.”

Despite having only been in the W-League since the beginning of the current season Polkinghorne said the German goalkeeper, who led her country to victory at the 2013 European Championship saving two penalties in the final, had made a huge impact at the Roar.

“It was a huge buzz when we heard she was coming to the club. We all knew the career she has had and we saw at the Euros just how good she is.

“To train day-in-day-out with her you learn so much from those kind of people. She has been an example to all of us at the club. To see her stand on that stage as the best player in the world shows you what is possible if you work hard enough.
Anytime you see people doing well it certainly inspires you and I think we have all been lifted by having her at the club.”

Polkinghorne said Angerer had not only made a big impact at the currently second place Roar but on the W-League in general.

“I think it has had a massive impact on the league. If we can attract players like Nadine and (Jessica) Fishlock, playing for Melbourne Victory, and get international exposure the league is only going to grow and I think from the first season we have already seen massive developments in the women’s game in Australia and the international players that come over are a big part of that.

“We have a lot of Australians that are playing overseas in Europe or in the USA and if we can turn that around and start to consistently attract the best players in the world it will greatly add to the quality of the league and it will make people stand-up and take note of the W-League in Australia.”

Despite heralding the positive impact that top quality imports have had on the standard of the W-League Polkinghorne said many players would still look to move abroad in the off-season.

“I think it is a big part of your football career as the W-League is so short and there is a lot of off-season and players can take that opportunity to go and experience a different style of football, playing with different coaches and players so it would certainly enhance players and improve their game and is a positive for Australian football.”