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Arsenal have announced the signing of Australian International, Steph Cately, from Melbourne City FC.
Arsenal’s women’s team are, of course, managed by Australian Joe Montemurro while forward Caitlin Foord arrived in the winter window. That makes two Australians at the club.
Catley now makes it three and is a quality addition to the side.
“This is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” said Catley, speaking exclusively to Arsenal Digital. “Arsenal is a place where I’ve imagined myself playing for a long time too.
“I’m so excited that it’s finally done. This will be my first taste of European football and obviously there’s so much to look forward to and so many big occasions to come. I can’t wait to get started.”
“We’re privileged to have Steph at the club,” said head coach Joe Montemurro. “She suits our fluidity and she’s very good in a positional sense, but more importantly she’s very effective going forwards, so we’re excited to have her as part of the squad and we’re looking forward to some exciting times together!”
Who is Steph Catley?
Catley is considered one of the best left-backs in the world and has previously worked under Montemurro when the Gunner’s boss was at Melbourne City.
She turned 26 in January and is currently on the books of Seattle Reign whom she signed for in 2018 from the Orlando Pirates before being sent on loan back to Melbourne. In fact, although she first moved to the States in 2014 to sign for the Portland Thorns, who loaned her out to Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, Catley played more games in Australia while owned by teams in the USA.
An Australian international with 80 caps and three goals, she made her senior debut against local rivals, New Zealand eight years ago when she was just 18. Catley was also vice-captain of her country for the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France, her second appearance on that stage after she played all 450 minutes of Australia’s World Cup in 2015.
She was also one of the first women to feature as the face of EA Sports FIFA game, adorning the front alongside Lionel Messi in their 2016 edition.
Speaking before the World Cup in France during the summer, Catley said, “I’ve also played in America for the last 6 years. Two years in Portland, two in Orlando, and I am now in my second season with Seattle. I’m very proud of my achievements in football but mostly I’m proud of the way I’ve been able to come back from setbacks and life hurdles and still be able to compete and better myself every day.
“I’ve been injured a lot, in many cases during major tournaments. And I also lost my father suddenly at the end of last year. Within this, football suddenly doesn’t feel as important, but one thing I’ve learnt is that the people, the unity and the family that you develop with people within football are the most important part of all of it.
“And for those relationships, I’m forever grateful.”
Knee injuries have been a problem recently which will be certainly something to keep an eye.
“My career has been a steady incline from the day that I started.” she added.
“When I began, I just loved playing. I was the only girl in a boy’s team for six years. I loved the challenge, I loved proving people wrong, I loved winning but mostly I loved getting better.
“Mum would often threaten that I wouldn’t be allowed to train if I was acting up when I was younger, and to me it was the ultimate threat and would put me straight back into line.