Melbourne City FC captain Steph Catley will depart the Club after joining Football Association Women’s Super League (FAWSL) side Arsenal Women.
The left-back will reunite with former Melbourne City coach Joe Montemurro at The Gunners as she heads to England’s top-flight for the first time in her career after spending five years at the Club.
Paying tribute to Catley’s tremendous contribution to the Club, Melbourne City FC Director of Football Michael Petrillo said: “Steph has left an incredible legacy at our Club. It’s so rare to find a player of her calibre, character and commitment in any league.”
“As a leader she has been outstanding and a great role model to all the players with whom she has played with,” Petrillo added.
“We are extremely grateful for her enormous contribution to making the Melbourne City FC Women’s program clearly the best in the country and wish her every success in the next phase of her career. Steph embodies everything we expect from our players and will always be welcome back at our Club.”
Speaking on her departure, Steph Catley said: “It’s with mixed emotions that I depart Melbourne City, the last five years have been everything and more. I’m truly thankful for my time at the Club, where being a leader in the Women’s game and changing the game for the better has always been at the forefront."
“The football that we’ve played over the past five years has been second to none and it’s been such a privilege to play for such a professional Club. I have developed lifelong friendships in an extremely competitive environment and will miss playing in front of the City fans.
“Although I’m excited for the next chapter, I will always be Melbourne City’s number one fan and I can’t wait to see how the team goes in the future.”
Catley departs Melbourne City as the Club’s most successful captain having won four championship trophies and two premierships, including two invincible seasons.
For City, Catley made 62 appearances since joining the Club in its inaugural campaign. She shares the games record for City’s W-League side with fellow defender and inaugural member, Rebekah Stott.
The Matildas vice-captain was named captain as a 22-year-old in the Club’s second season. Catley drove City’s title defence in her first season with the captain’s armband on and would go on to lead her side to a historic championship three-peat before again delivering Club success, with a memorable invincible 2019/20 campaign where she led her side to the premiership and championship double.
In what would be Catley’s last game for the Club, City’s captain scored the match-winner to clinch her fourth Championship trophy and help her side create W-League history as the league’s most successful club.
Melbourne City FC would like to thank Steph for her tremendous five years at the Club and wishes her all the best in the future.