With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ fast approaching, we set our sights on our star players who are set to take the field in France. We've already taken a look at Lydia Williams' journey, now our attention turns to Melbourne City captain and Matildas vice-captain Steph Catley.
When newly appointed Westfield Matildas Head Coach Ante Milicic named Steph Catley as vice-captain of the Australian squad in February, it came as little surprise.
The now 25-year-old, has been our inspirational skipper for the past three seasons. An inaugural member of City's Women's team, Catley was handed the captain's armband as a 22-year-old in the Club's second season. The defender drove City's title defence, where she would go on to become a two-time championship winning captain of the Club and an integral member of a team that created history as the first side in either the A-League or W-League to make it back-to-back-to-back championship wins.
Prior to joining City, Catley's Westfield W-League journey began as a 15-year-old, making her league debut for Melbourne Victory. As Victory captain, Catley led her side to championship glory in 2014 - showcasing not only her ability to perform on the pitch, but also her great leadership skills from a young age.
Still only 25, she has gained a wealth of experience from her decade-long career. Earning over 100 league appearances in the W-League, Catley's career has spanned well beyond the borders of Australia's top-division. The left-back has become a prominent figure in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in America, where she has had stints at Portland Thorns FC, Orlando Pride and Seattle Reign FC, the club she currently plays for.
Not only successful at the domestic level, where she has won a premiership and four championship trophies in Australia, Catley has also been a vital figure in the Matildas set-up.
The defender has earned 71 international caps and scored two goals for her country. As well as starring at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Catley has played in two Asian Cups, an Olympic Games, alongside claiming the Tournament of Nations and recent Cup of Nations trophy.
Since the beginning of her footballing journey, as a six-year-old playing against the boys in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, Catley has been inspired by the love of the game that she shares with her brother, Daniel.
She now inspires the next generation, with Glen Eira FC's U10s named the 'Catleys'.
Despite possessing quite the résumé, she has shown great resilience to get to where she is now. Facing bumps in the road both on and off the football pitch, Catley has shown great professionalism and fortitude to bounce back with each obstacle, highlighting the sheer determination that is needed to succeed at the highest level.
Her willpower combined with her ability are a combination any team should fear. One of the world’s most dangerous left-backs when in full flight, her quick feet and speed combined with her lethal left foot can do damage against the strongest of sides.
Far from the most outspoken leader, Catley will lead by example on the field and provide guidance to her teammates as they push towards creating history - a feat she has become familiar with.
We’re all behind you captain, good-luck in France!