Steph Catley determined to come back stronger following setback

Steph Catley is set for another stint on the sidelines after the Westfield Matilda injured her hamstring.

The Arsenal defender made her league debut in September, played two matches, but was forced to the sidelines with a calf injury.

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After almost three months off the pitch, she worked her way back to fitness and was featuring off the bench for the Gunners in early December.

The 26-year-old then sustained this hamstring injury. She successfully underwent surgery and is now in rehab. 

With four league appearances to her name, life in North London hasn’t begun exactly the way she would have hoped.  

“It's been a very frustrating start to my life here in England.” said Catley.  

“I'm just doing my best to get healthy and back to full fitness. It's been a struggle. But yeah, I'm with an amazing staff here who are looking after me and doing everything that they can to get me back to full fitness.”

“So it's a process and it's taking a while, but once I'm there, hopefully I'm there for good.”

Catley has had to contend with a lot during her short time in North London. Between these injury setbacks and the Covid-enforced lockdown, Catley admitted that it hasn’t been easy both in the obvious physical sense and in a mental sense.

After another strong, successful season with Melbourne City in the Westfield W-League, Catley was ready to show a new set of fans exactly what she can do on the pitch.

When you go over to a new country, it's always got its challenges, regardless, but getting a pretty significant injury straightaway and not being able to get out there and express myself and sort of proved myself in a new league has been really challenging and a new experience for me.”

However with plenty of support around her from team mates, staff, family, and friends, she believes she will ultimately be better for the experience.

“I think in the long term, I'll come back a stronger footballer as well, just from all those lessons that I've learned in the mental strength and the physical strength that I've been building up throughout this time. So it's been difficult, but I have learned a lot from it.”