Australia veteran Thea Slatyer has decided to call an end to her remarkable 14-year club and international career.
With 51 A-Internationals to her name including three goals, Slatyer helped define a key transition period in the sport which culminated in captaining the successful Matildas in two matches at the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup.
As a dominating and often imposing defender, Slatyer was a fierce competitor with incredible strength and determination whenever she wore the green and gold.
A key member in the Matildas groundbreaking performances at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, Slatyer's career highlight was playing at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Her career included clubs stints at Canberra United, Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets and overseas with Washington Freedom.
Slatyer played her final three matches earlier this year against World Champion Japan after two matches against New Zealand, in which she scored a late equaliser to keep intact the Matildas 18-year undefeated record against their trans-Tasman rival.
Slatyer decided to hang up her boots for good after the match against Japan leaves a wonderful legacy for the sport.
Despite being offered a new contract to continue playing for the Matildas and interest from both Chelsea and Liverpool in the Women's Premier League in England, Slayter has decided to pursue a different course away from football.
"Retiring from football was something I had been planning at the start of this year and the international friendly against Japan was to be my last game,”she said.
“Although I did not want to make it more emotional for myself than it already was, a few of my team mates knew this was likely to be the last time I put on the green and gold and I officially retired from the Matildas following the Tokyo tour in July.
"The national team has played a monumental role in my life for the past decade and it has taken me places and given me friends that I will have forever. I am now focussing on studying engineering, horse riding and generally just kicking ass in whatever life brings.”
"The most important thing I've learned from my experiences in the Matildas is to take advantage of every opportunity you are presented with, trust yourself and never ever give up."
Matildas coach Tom Sermanni, who coached Slatyer for the majority of her international career, says Slatyer has left an indelible mark on the Australian national team.
"Thea is a winner, a warrior and a fierce competitor. She was uncompromising in her approach and attitude and at the peak of her career was one of the most intimidating defenders in women's football. These qualities were particularly in evidence when facing high-pedigree opponents," Sermanni said.
The Socceroos delivered SBS its highest rating program so far this year with more than 1.5 million Australians tuning in to see them qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Iraq on Tuesday night.