Cannuli retires from W-League

CATHERINE Cannuli plays her final game in the W-League for Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday against Perth Glory in Perth.

The former Australian player said the time was right to bring an end to her two seasons with the Wanderers and seven years in the W-League.

Cannuli, 27, of Prestons played her final home game in the local derby against Sydney FC at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Sydney FC won 3-1; Cannuli scored the Wanderers' only goal.

Cannuli said it was an emotional time for her.

"It was amazing to be able to play for the Wanderers," she said.

"The moment I got a phone call saying they were going to field a team I knew there was no chance I was going to be staying in Brisbane as I would be coming home and playing for my home team."

The striker played for three clubs in the W-League: Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar and the Wanderers.

Cannuli leaves the Wanderers as their leading goal-scorer in her two seasons.

Cannuli said she will stay involved with the game.

"I want to get into coaching as the development of women's football is something I'm very passionate about," she said.

"The women's game has a lot of potential for growth and I think it's important for ex-players to stay involved as we need more role models in the game to keep connected."

She said will also devote more time to her business, the tanning and beauty salon, she owns in Liverpool.

Cannuli started playing the game she loved with a boys team at Marconi as a youngster, and at 13 played in the women's open age team.

She played for the Australian women's under-19s squad at the World Cup when only 15.

Her team reached the quarter-final losing 4-3 in extra time to Brazil.

"I'm going to miss being in the team environment, it's great being around the girls, travelling together, going to training and just enjoying football," Cannuli said.

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