Sarah Walsh and Thea Slatyer hang up their boots | (Credit: Getty Images)
In 2012 the women’s football public said goodbye to two Matildas favourites from opposite sides of the pitch as striker Sarah Walsh and defender Thea Slatyer announced their retirements from international football.
Slatyer came onto the Matildas scene in 2002 and quickly established her reputation as a non-nonsense, hard working and tough defender with excellent recovery and ability to make that crucial last ditch tackle. Slatyer was always a first choice when it came to the big jobs against the best attackers including Marta, Abby Wambach, Cristiane and Ohno.
Walsh made her international debut in 2004 and it wasn’t long before she was established in the national team. With her blistering pace, Walsh and long time strike partner Lisa De Vanna caused havoc against some of the world’s best defenders.
As fans of the game the retirements of Walsh and Slatyer continue to mark the rapid transition on the Matildas squad. But make no doubt, they will be missed (many of the TWG team still bemoan their loss and are receiving grief counselling!) and for many they will always be part of that revered 2007 squad; the squad that put the Matildas into the consciousness of the public and announced our arrival on the world stage.
Thanks for the memories Walshy and Thea.