Melbourne City FC star Steph Catley says the Club’s historic Westfield W-League triumph is a glowing example of what can be achieved when resources are invested into Women’s football in Australia.
City made a statement during its inaugural campaign in the W-League football, with a 4-1 Grand Final win over Sydney FC seeing Joe Montemurro’s side become the first team in Westfield W-League history to claim the Premiership and Championship double without losing a single match.
Catley was an integral member of a City defence which only conceded five goals en route to the championship trophy and believes the foundations for the Club’s historic triumph was built upon an increased emphasis on professionalism.
“I think this season has been a really historic one. People can only sit back and see if you put a little bit of effort and professionalism into a W-League side then this can happen,” Catley said.
“We are not doing anything special or out of the ordinary, we are just being looked after and I think that is the main thing that other clubs can take notice of and start doing with their W-League sides.
“I just love being at Melbourne City and I’m having a blast.”
Sunday’s Grand Final win provides Catley with yet another crowning addition to her rapidly burgeoning football CV; a list of accolades which is all the more impressive considering her tender age of 22 years.
An established regular at international level for the Westfield Matildas, Catley has already embraced the significant responsibility of leadership during her young career, donning the City armband during stages this season in the absence of co-captains Jess Fishlock and Lisa De Vanna.
But in the presence of experienced internationals Kim Little, Jennifer Beattie and Welsh midfielder Fishlock, the burden of leadership at has somewhat eased for Catley, who has relished the opportunity to continue her development at City among her world class teammates.
“To take a step back and be able to watch Jess Fishlock, Kim Little, Jen Beattie, some of the leaders around the club and just learn again, it was so much fun this season,” she said. “I feel like I have definitely stepped my football up a level. That was the aim coming to City.”
“I’m just so happy. It has been such a good year and it would have been so sad not to finish it off winning all those games. I’m just so proud of the girls.”