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World Cup places on the line as Australia hopefuls begin W-League season

Tournament of Nations: Sam Kerr (16') Japan 1-2 Australia

Matildas defender and Brisbane captain Clare Polkinghorne knows this season's W-League season will carry extra weight with a World Cup around the corner.

The Roar leader is fresh off a stint with Houston Dash in the United States and intent on going one better after the minor premiers were bundled out of last season's semifinals by Melbourne City.

Ahead of Sunday's season opener against Sam Kerr's Perth Glory, the 29-year-old said this campaign would allow Matildas hopefuls to announce themselves ahead of next June's showpiece in France.

"It's really important; the W-League's a good foundation for the national team and a good chance for players to stake their claim leading into France next year," she said.

"It's just important to get game time under your belt and perform well."

Polkinghorne enjoyed a quick break after the Asian Cup and is confident her US stint was the correct way to prepare for a World Cup tilt.

"It was important that I set myself in the best environment possible and get game time and surround myself with people that can improve my game," she said.

She'll return to a domestic league she believes that continues to improve and attract better international talent that in turn inspires the next generation.

"The professionalism just keeps on growing each year; it's been a work in progress but we've made massive leaps," she said.

"It's important to have [television] coverage and allow people to watch games," she said.

"Some watch one game and they're hooked ... it's about them having access to watch their favourite players play."

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