Interview with Steph Catley

Steph Catley when she joined Arsenal Women (Photo from the Arsenal website)

What do you like most about living in England?

The football being on at a normal time. At home it was always on at 3am so I barely was able to watch a live game.

What do you like most about training?

The quality of the players we have in this team is above and beyond any other team I’ve played with. The standard is always so high and it makes training challenging and extremely fun.

What little bit of home did you bring with you?

I brought my partner Dean with me, so technically I brought a lot of home with me! But other than him I made sure I was stocked up on Vegemite.

What 3 things would you take with you if you were on Desert Island?

Bentley (my corgi)

A hammock

Hermione’s extension charm bag where I’d keep everything Bentley and I would need for survival (Harry Potter reference)

What is the main difference between playing in the WSL and the Australian Women’s Football League?

The overall quality of the players in the league in the WSL, and obviously its a full length season. And it’s really cold.

What is your favourite cheese?

I love all cheese. But can’t beat a mature cheddar.

How have you managed coming to a new club and environment whilst being injured for a larger amount of the season so far?

It’s been really difficult dealing with so many injuries back to back. I’ve missed being on the field with the girls but have been working so incredibly hard to do whatever I can to get healthy again. And the girls have been so supportive and been there for me every step of the way, so I’m grateful to have such an amazing group of teammates.

Which one of the non Aussie players do you get along with the most?

I have really enjoyed getting to know Beth and DVD. Lia Wälti is a gem. And I also spent a lot of time with Lisa Evans in rehab (my other calf) and it was really nice getting to know her. All the girls are pretty wonderful to be honest.

What is your favourite goal celebration?

I don’t often score goals so I’m always a bit awkward when I do. But my most recent goal for the Matilda’s, I fell on my stomach and did some sort of weird, airplane celebration. So I guess that’s my favourite!

What was your biggest reason for joining Arsenal?

The quality of the players. I felt that I could go to another level as a player and wanted to challenge myself in a new environment.  

What do you miss the most about playing football behind closed doors?

I miss the atmosphere that the crowd creates.

It just gives you an extra spark of adrenaline on the field.

If you could any superhero power which one would choose?

I would love to be able to control the weather. Especially here in England 😬

What is your favourite place in London?

I haven’t been able to explore too much because of COVID. But I think in the heart of the City on Oxford Street. I love the mix of old, historic buildings and massive, modern retail stores.

How do you pass the time during your long plane flights from Australia to UK?

Sleeeeep! If you leave Australia at night time, it’s ideal because you can eat dinner, watch a movie and then go to sleep and hope you don’t wake up until it’s nearly time to land. But it’s definitely something you have to get used to.

What do you hope to achieve during your time at Arsenal?

I’m really focused on just getting healthy right now. It’s been a really difficult season mentally, so I’ve had to really focus my attention on the short term goals. So my goal at the moment is to get back on the field with the girls and contribute wherever I can to the end of the season.

Who is the teammate that would help you survive on a desert island?

I’d say Jen Beattie. She’s just always calm and collected in every situation, very intelligent and a good laugh too.

Who on the team would sit in the front of a classroom and who would sit in the back?

Lia Wälti is 100% at the very front, she’s probably teaching the class. And I’d say Jill Roord is at the back causing a ruckus.

What’s it like playing with Ireland legend Katie McCabe?

I haven’t been able to play with Katie much at all this season but she’s a great player and I’ve always got a lot of love for fellow lefties!

Did you find England to be colder than you expected it to be or warmer?

It’s definitely very cold. But it hasn’t been as cold as everyone built it up to be. Some days when I can’t feel my toes, I struggle. And I really miss the sun and my tan. But otherwise it hasn’t been too bad!

Who is the funniest teammate?

Lisa Evans, Beth Mead or Caitlin Foord

Who would you call if you had a problem?

Kim Little.  

Which player has been hardest to defend against so far?

Viv is so versatile it makes it hard to know where to force her. She likes going to her left, she’s strong, she can turn on a dime and shoot from anywhere. But it’s always a fun challenge.