Veteran Collette McCallum calls it a day

Collette McCallum
Westfield Matildas midfielder Collette McCallum has announced her retirement effectively ending her dream of playing at a third consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup.

McCallum is set to make her final appearance when the Westfield Matildas take on Scotland tonight (12:30am AEST Friday 10 April) in Falkirk.

Arguably the toughest decision an athlete has to make is the one to call time on their career and McCallum, who turned 29 last month, reached that point following a meeting with Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic and the medical staff during the squad’s current European tour.

Ninth on the all-time Westfield Matildas appearance list (80 ‘A’ internationals appearances and 11 goals) in an international career that has spanned a decade, McCallum came to the decision knowing the toll on her body and specifically her knees, has meant she will be unable to get back to her prime.

Cruelly, the wear and tear she has endured on her knee has hampered and ultimately prevented her from representing her country with esteem on more occasions. Despite her best intentions and efforts, injury has meant the chance of her being part of a third World Cup campaign proved a bridge too far.

“It has been a great honour and privilege to represent my country for the last ten years,” McCallum said.

“Unfortunately my body can’t deal with the intensity and load required to play at this level anymore. I have pushed my knees as far as they can go and I am content with my decision to hang up the boots.

“Although it is disappointing to miss the World Cup, I feel that I have been fortunate enough to experience two previous campaigns of which the memories will never leave me.

“The team we have now is looking strong and preparing really well, and I’m looking forward to watching them compete against the best in June.

“There are countless people I’d like to thank in respect to my Westfield Matildas career – coaches, medical staff, family, friends and especially my partner Ricky for supporting me to pursue my love for the game.

“Moving forward I won’t be a stranger to the game and would like nothing more than to contribute to the continued growth of women’s football in Australia. I wish Staj, his coaching staff and my team-mates all the very best in Canada.”

Stajcic could not speak highly enough of McCallum’s impact on the national team and what she has brought to Australian women’s football on a broader scope.

“It is with sad news that one of our truly greatest ever Matildas has succumbed to injury and decided to retire,” Stajcic said.

“In my opinion, Collette is in the top four or five Matildas of all time and has represented our country with distinction on many occasions. She is a wonderful ambassador on and off the field for our sport.

“Collette has remained with us here on tour and we’re hopeful of being able to give her a farewell with a cameo towards the end of the game against Scotland.”

That her swansong will come against the Scottish is fitting and somewhat poetic given she was born in Glasgow and that her grandfather will be in attendance at the match to watch her for the first and last time.

The 132nd player capped for the Westfield Matildas, notable highlights of McCallum’s career include being named in the FIFA All-Star squad at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in 2006, being part of Australia’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2010 winning squad, and playing every game at the FIFA 2011 Women’s World Cup as the Westfield Matildas reached the quarter finals.

McCallum won Perth Glory’s Women’s Player of the Year in a season where she only played five matches due to injuring her knee, while she also helped the Westfield W-League outfit finish top of the table and reach the Grand Final last season.

Match Details
Scotland v Westfield Matildas
Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Thursday 9 April 2015
Kick-Off: 2:30pm local time (12:30am AEST, Friday 10 April)

Join the GREEN & GOLD ARMY Family, Friends and Fans tour to watch the Westfield Matildas in action at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. Click here for more information.

See all of the Westfield Matildas’ games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 live on SBS ONE.

Football Federation Australia

Westfield Matildas hit Czech Republic for six

All smiles after the big win over the Czech Republic.
The Westfield Matildas have turned on a goal fest in their final match of the Cyprus Cup, putting six past the Czech Republic in a 6-2 victory.

Making the result all the more remarkable was that the Westfield Matildas had six different goal scorers and were forced to come from a goal down in wet and windy conditions on the final day of the tournament.

While the goal haul was the Westfield Matildas’ biggest as they registered three wins from their four matches, Head Coach Alen Stajcic admitted it was not their best performance as the conditions made it difficult for both sides.

“The game was a little bit disjointed and we weren’t as fluent as we were the other night against Finland,” Stajcic said.

“In saying that, the variety we have in our attack is one of our biggest strengths, we don’t have to reply on just one or two players to score, we’ve got a range of options who all bring something different.

“Our execution in the front third was lacking but the girls tried hard in tough conditions and it was the fourth game in eight days so it was a great effort to be able to finish off the tournament like we have.”

In what was just the second meeting between the countries, it was a frenetic opening 20 minutes to the game with three goals and a missed penalty, the Czech Republic going ahead in just the 5th minute.

Stung into action, it took the Westfield Matildas just three minutes to equalise, reigning Asian Women’s Player of the Year Katrina Gorry meeting a cut back from Michelle Heyman to make it 1-1.

Heyman then had a chance to get on the score sheet herself when she was brought down in the penalty area in the 13th minute but her ensuing spot kick was saved by Czech Republic keeper Hana Sloupova.

However the missed opportunity was soon forgotten as van Egmond made it two goals from as many games, pouncing on a follow up after a superb run and shot from Caitlin Foord to put the Australians in front.

Foord went agonisingly close to making it 3-1 inside 20 minutes as the Westfield Matildas continued to press forward with intent and before half time they had a third when De Vanna picked the pocket of the Czech defence before coolly slotting her shot into the bottom left hand corner.

Eight minutes into the second half the Westfield Matildas extended their advantage further, Heyman needing only to produce a simple tap in after Sloupova could not contain midfielder Teresa Polias’ initial shot.

Despite staring down the barrel, the Czechs refused to lie down, reducing the deficit with just under half an hour to go thanks to a 30 yard effort from Benyrova.

But two goals within a minute late on from Clare Polkinghorne and Ashleigh Sykes snuffed out any Czech fight back and rounded off a big win for the girls in green and gold.

The squad will depart for Italy tomorrow where they will spend two weeks at the European Training Centre, an Australian Institute of Sport base.

For more information and results from the Cyprus Cup, visit http://www.cypruswomenscup.net/.

Join the GREEN & GOLD ARMY Family, Friends and Fans tour to watch the Westfield Matildas in action at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. Click here for more information.

See all of the Westfield Matildas’ games at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 live on SBS ONE.

Match Details
Westfield Matildas 6
(Gorry 8’, van Egmond 16’, De Vanna 34’, Heyman 53’, Polkinghorne 85’, Sykes 86’)
Czech Republic 2 (Benyrova 5’/63’)
@ Tasos Marko / Paralimni, Cyprus

Westfield Matildas starting line-up: Mackenzie Arnold (gk), Servet Uzunlar (Hayley Raso 55’), Alanna Kennedy (Clare Polkinghorne 63’), Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight (Gema Simon 45’), Teresa Polias, Katrina Gorry (Collette McCallum 83’), Emily van-Egmond, Lisa De Vanna, Michelle Heyman (Kyah Simon 55’), Caitlin Foord (Ashleigh Sykes 72’)

Substitutes not used: Brianna Davey (gk), Laura Alleway, Kate Gill, Nicola Bolger, Larissa Crummer

 

 

 

Football Federation Austrália Website

Canberra United wins W-League championship with 3-1 victory against Perth Glory in grand final

December 21, 2014 – 7:19PM

Lee Gaskin

Sports reporter at The Canberra Times

Canberra United celebrates its W-League championship after beating Perth Glory 3-1 in the grand final on Sunday.

Canberra United celebrates its W-League championship after beating Perth Glory 3-1 in the grand final on Sunday.

Grand final hero Ashleigh Sykes has labelled Canberra United’s second W-League championship the most satisfying after overcoming a mid-season slump to lift the title.

Sykes was an overwhelming choice as the best on the park, scoring two goals in the space of three minutes as Canberra came from the clouds to upset minor premiers Perth Glory 3-1 in Sunday’s gripping decider at nib Stadium.

Canberra were absolutely terrific, giving retiring US star Lori Lindsey the perfect send-off and 15-year-old sensation Grace Maher rising to the occasion after she was a shock choice to start the game.

Canberra's Grace Maher challenges Perth Glory's Alanna Kennedy.

Canberra’s Grace Maher challenges Perth Glory’s Alanna Kennedy.

It capped off a roller-coaster season for the girls in green, who faced the pressure of needing at least a point in their final regular season game against the Glory just to make the top four.

After clawing out a 2-1 win to finish third on the table, United needed 120 minutes and a penalty shoot-out to get past Melbourne Victory last weekend to qualify for their third grand final and first since winning the title in 2011-12.

But unlike that success when United went undefeated and was completely dominant throughout, this time the side have had to battle back through adversity.

“Two years ago we had an awesome season all up, but this season’s been a bit up and down, which makes it more satisfying when you come out the other end,” Sykes said.

“It’s really a testament to the coaches and the squad and all our support staff that we could come through some interesting times in the middle of the year to win the title.

“To score two goals in a final is amazing, it’s just an awesome feeling to win the title.”

Canberra led 1-0 at half-time before a stunning free kick from Collette McCallum from just outside the penalty area brought the Glory back on level terms.

The visitors responded in splendid fashion, Lindsey delivering a lovely ball over the top for Sykes, who had just enough on her strike for the ball to trickle over the line.

After Glory striker Kate Gill had her penalty saved by goalkeeper Chantel Jones, Sykes then sunk the decisive blow three minutes later, heading the ball into the net after Michelle Heyman contested a dangerous cross from Stephanie Ochs.

“Lori’s so good at popping those balls in behind, she’s an awesome playmaker,” Sykes said.

“I’ve been able to benefit from playing off Steph and Michelle.

“It’s really great to have a striking group where everyone contributes, where it’s assists or scoring themselves.”

Canberra’s player of the year, Sykes should have her name read out when the Matildas announce their squad for a training camp on Monday in preparation for next year’s World Cup.

“I’m looking forward to hearing who’s in the squad tomorrow,” Sykes said.

“Hopefully my name’s on the list, being the player of the match doesn’t do you any harm in trying to get in there.”

Maher was a surprise choice to start in the place of American Kendall Fletcher, but the under-16 Australian representative showed plenty of poise in setting up Ochs for the game’s opening goal.

Ochs produced a stunning left-foot strike into the bottom corner of the net in the 20th minute.

United were stiff not to receive a penalty after Sykes was brought down in the box midway through the first half.

The Glory were the standout team of the regular season, claiming the minor premiership with a 10-point buffer and losing just two games. It was without Matildas star Sam Kerr, who suffered a knee injury in the 2-1 loss to Canberra in round 12.

W-League grand final: Canberra United 3 (Stephanie Ochs 20′, Ashleigh Sykes 75′ 78′) bt Perth Glory 1 (Collette McCallum 63′) at nib Stadium in Perth on Sunday.

 

Source : The Canberra Times

Canberra United stun Perth Glory to claim Westfield W-League title

Canberra United are the Westfield W-League Champions after beating Perth Glory 3-1 in the Grand Final.
Two late goals from Ashleigh Sykes saw Canberra United win the 2015 Westfield W-League 3-1 over Perth Glory at nib Stadium.

Sykes’ two goals came within three minutes of one another, either side of a missed penalty from Glory striker Kate Gill.

With the scores locked at 1-1 for the majority of the second half, Sykes slotted past Glory keeper Mackenzie Arnold, the ball trickling into the net faster than Shelina Zadorksy could get back to keep it out.

Glory fluffed their chance to find the equaliser after Marianna Tabain was taken down in the box.

Kate Gill stepped up, but fired a tame penalty at Canberra keeper Chantel Jones.

Sykes sealed the game for Canberra as Arnold came for a cross, but was beaten to it by Michelle Heyman, allowing Sykes to head into an empty net.

Canberra took the lead on 21 minutes as Stephanie Ochs stepped inside and curled a brilliantly placed shot off the post and into the bottom corner of the net.

Glory had the first big chance of the game as Collette McCallum knocked a great ball over the top for Caitlin Foord whose shot was brilliantly saved by Jones.

Glory found their equaliser early in the second half through a wonder free kick from Glory captain McCallum, which flew into the top corner.

Canberra dominated the first half and were deserving of their half-time lead, which could have been even more if not for good defending from Zadorksy.

Glory started the second half stronger and looked capable of going on to win it after their equalizer until Sykes seized the initiative.

After twice finding the net, Sykes was brought down in the box by Zadorsky to give Canberra another opportunity. But substitute Grace Gill’s spot-kick was saved by Arnold in the last play of the game.

Perth Glory 1 (Collette McCallum 63’)

Canberra United 3 (Stephanie Ochs 20’, Ashleigh Sykes 75’, 78’)

Sunday 21 December 2014

nib Stadium, Perth

Local kick-off: 12pm

Attendance: 2,671

Referee: Kate Jacewicz

Perth Glory: Mackenzie Arnold (gk), Sarah Carroll (Carys Hawkins 62’), Bronwyn Studman, Shannon May, Alanna Kennedy, Caitlin Foord, Kate Gill, Elisa D’Ovidio (Gabrielle Marzano 73’), Collette McCallum, Shelina Zadorsky, Marianna Tabain

Substitutes – Gabrielle Dal Busco (gk), Shawn Billam, Thia Eastman

Cautions – Sarah Carroll 49’, Caitlin Foord 64’, Shelina Zadorsky 93’

Canberra United: Chantel Jones (gk), Catherine Brown, Caitlin Munoz, Ellie Brush, Grace Maher (Julia De Angelis 53’), Michelle Heyman, Sally Rojahn, Nicole Begg, Ashleigh Sykes, Lori Lindsey (Grace Gill 91’), Stephanie Ochs

Substitutes – Melissa Maizels (gk), Grace Field, Tegan Riding

Cautions – Catherine Brown 62’, Caitlin Munoz 86’

Source : Football Federation Australia website

Westfield W-League 2014/2015 Round 11 Preview (Split Round) 9

Nicola Bolger and Collette McCallum jostle for the ball in their Round 6 clash.

Nicola Bolger and Collette McCallum jostle for the ball in their Round 6 clash.

The Sky Blues will be eyeing second spot on the ladder when they host the table topping Perth Glory in the final game of the Westfield W-League’s penultimate round on Sunday.

Brisbane Roar v Canberra United

Saturday 29 November 2014

Suncorp Stadium

Local kick-off: 1pm (2pm AEDT)

Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #BRIvCBR

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Nadine ANGERER (gk), 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Hayley RASO, 7. Kim CARROLL, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9. Larissa CRUMMER, 10. Katrina GORRY, 11. Vedrana POPOVIC, 13. Tameka BUTT, 14. Natasha WHEELER, 16. Angela BEARD, 17. Emily GIELNIK, 18. Sunny FRANCO, 19. Ayesha NORRIE, 20. Kate STEWART (gk)

Ins: Elise Kellond-Knight (returns from injury)

Outs: none

Unavailable: Laura Alleway (foot – two weeks), Amy Chapman (calf – one week), Brooke Goodrich (ankle – one week)

Canberra United squad: 1. Chantel JONES, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Tegan RIDING, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 20. Melissa MAIZELS (gk), 22. Stephanie OCHS

Ins: Grace Maher (promoted)

Outs: none

Unavailable: Meg McLAUGHLIN (knee – season)

 

Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United (Round 8 fixture)

Saturday 29 November 2014

Jack McLaughlin Oval, Newcastle

Local kick-off: 3pm

Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #NEWvADL

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Hannah Southwell, 2. Georgia Yeoman-Dale, 3. Hayley Crawford, 5. Katherine Reynolds, 6. Angela Salem, 7. Tori Huster, 8. Amber Neilson, 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Emily van Egmond, 11. Rhali Dobson, 15. Libby Copus-Brown, 16. Cassidy Davis, 18. Clare Wheeler, 20. Claire Coelho (GK), 24. Brooke Miller

Ins: Libby Copus-Brown (promoted)

Outs: Grace McIntyre (omitted)

Unavailable: Ashley Spina (knee – season)

Adelaide United squad: 1. Melissa Barbieri (gk), 2. Monique Iannella, 3. Danielle Brogan, 7. Katrine Pedersen, 8. Emily Condon, 9. Lisa-Marie Woods, 10. Alexandra Chidiac, 11. Isabel Hodgson, 12.Daila-Tais Borg, 14. Rachel Alonso, 15. Jenna McCormick, 16. Katie Holtham, 17. Tiarn Powell, 20. Sarah Willacy (gk), 23. Kristy Moore (C)

Ins: Tiarn Powell (promoted)

Outs: Dylan Holmes (omitted)

Unavailable: none

 

Sydney FC v Perth Glory

Sunday 30 November 2014

WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Local kick-off: 3pm

Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #SYDvPER

* Catch all the action Live at 3.00pm nationally on ABC TV. Or from Monday on ABC iView with a full replay at 3.30am on Tuesday.

Sydney FC squad: 1. Casey Dumont (gk), 2. Teresa Polias, 3. Liz Ralston, 4. Alesha Clifford, 5. Jasmyne Spencer, 6. Servet Uzunlar, 7. Nicola Bolger, 8. Amy Harrison, 10. Renee Rollason, 12. Chloe Logarzo, 13. Trudy Camilleri, 14. Olivia Price, 15. Teigen Allen, 16. Samantha Johnson, 17. Kyah Simon, 21. Sian McLaren (gk)

Ins: Kyah Simon, Casey Dumont (both return from injury)

Outs: Alyssa Harris (omitted)

Unavailable:  Natalie Tobin, Heidi Makrillos (both unavailable)

Perth Glory squad: 1. Mackenzie Arnold (gk), 2. Sarah Carroll, 3. Carys Hawkins, 4. Bronwyn Studman, 5. Shannon May 6. Alanna Kennedy, 7. Gabrielle Marzano, 9. Caitlin Foord, 12. Kate Gill, 13. Elisa D’Ovidio, 14. Collette McCallum, 15. Shelina Zadorsky, 17. Marianna Tabain, 18. Gabrielle Dal Busco (gk), 20. Samantha Kerr

Ins: none

Outs: none

Unavailable: none

Source : Football Federation Australia website