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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 7 hours ago
Read
May 10, 2013

Co-captains for Aust women's soccer team

A question mark remains over the Australian women's soccer captaincy despite new Matildas' coach Hesterine de Reus handing Clare Polkinghorne and Kate Gill the reins on Saturday.

While the duo impressed at a series of training camps in Canberra which kick-started de Reus' reign, the Matildas' mentor said she would reassess the team's leadership in July.

And De Reus made it clear she would welcome the return of incumbent skipper Melissa Barbieri, who recently had her first child.

Brisbane Roar defender Polkinghorne, 24, and Perth Glory striker Gill, 28, will mark their first game as co-captains in a two-match series against New Zealand in Canberra in June.

It starts the next stage of the Matildas' campaign which includes their AFC Asian Cup defence and 2015 World Cup qualification bid.

But asked if the captaincy appointment was permanent, de Reus said: "I think in sports nothing is permanent.

"At the end of July, we will sit down and discuss if the players are happy with the role, if I was happy and then we will see how we continue from that time on.

"Melissa (Barbieri) is not around at this time and we have games coming up so we need to have a captain.

"I look forward to having Melissa in the team. She is working hard for a comeback."

Only one captain's armband will be offered on game day - and de Reus said Gill (72 caps) would get first dibs over reigning W-League Player of the Year Polkinghorne (60).

"The reason that I have elected to have co-captains is that I like to share the load between the two players, although I expect all players to take leadership roles and responsibility on the pitch," she said.

"Kate will wear the armband onto the field whenever possible, but both will take on captaincy duties off the field as required."

De Reus - successor to Tom Sermanni, now the US women's head coach - marks her first matches at the helm against NZ on June 13 and 16.

A European tour follows with international friendlies against the Netherlands (June 29) and France (July 6) along with a clash against Dutch club Ado den Haag (July 2).

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