Walsh richer for the experience

Westfield Matildas striker Sarah Walsh is a great believer in whatever doesn't break you only makes you stronger.

Westfield Matildas striker Sarah Walsh is a great believer in whatever doesn't break you only makes you stronger.

It's an adage Walsh leans on to best describe her short but eventful stint in America's Women's Professional League earlier this year.

The Sydney FC forward was a first round international draft pick for Sky Blue FC but played just five games before finding herself traded to rivals St Louis Athletica, where she would go on to play six matches.

Now back playing with Sydney in the Westfield W-League, Walsh's thoughts are never too far away from the US.

"It was quite an eye-opener. I was traded halfway through the year and was injured for half a season, so it was tough at times," said Walsh, rated in the top five female players in Asia two years ago.

"But it's the best league in the world with the world's best players so it was a great experience."

"Training and playing in that environment can only make you a better player."

"I think it made me stronger. I'll definitely look to do that again in the future."

Complicating Walsh's plans to return to the US next year is a busy international calendar.

The Matildas will be involved in World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers throughout 2010, with camps planned just about every month.

"I'm not exactly sure what's on for me next year. I am in the middle of weighing up options at the moment," Walsh said.

"It depends on what pops up and how flexible I can be with the club, given the heavy schedule with the Matildas."

"There are a few factors that will come into it."

With 26 goals in 57 appearances for the Matildas, Walsh is one of the cornerstones of an Australian side on the rebuild following the loss of several experienced players to retirement.

The 2004 Olympian said of the Matildas' changing face: "It's quite a young squad and we haven't spent a lot of time together."

"A lot of girls went after the (2007) World Cup … we lost a lot of older players."

"They are hard girls to replace but we've got some good young players coming through and the future looks pretty good."

For now the future is all about Sydney FC's push for the Westfield W-League title.

Currently sitting third on table after six rounds, the Sky Blues have some work to do to reel in leaders Queensland.

Walsh, with four goals to her name, will be pivotal to the cause.

"It's always nice to score goals and even better when you're winning," she said.

"We're happy where we are sitting but you never know with this league, it can change very quickly."

"There's been a couple of upsets this year and you still don-t know on any given day who's going to win."