The last WSL season was only officially completed weeks ago – but Arsenal have begun preparations early.
The Gunners have signed Aussie full-back Steph Catley from Melbourne Victory.
Catley, 26, has been playing for the Matilda’s for eight years, since her 18th birthday, and has amassed an impressive 82 caps for her country. Her experience isn’t just on the international stage either. Catley has experienced the Women’s League in America too, playing for Portland Thorns and Orlando Pride. This highlights her quality, which will be greatly received at Arsenal.
Our new signing has previous experience with some of our own – she played alongside our current captain Kim Little and defender Jen Beattie, whilst being managed by Joe Montemurro at Melbourne.
Catley told the Arsenal website “Arsenal is a place where I've imagined myself playing for a long time,"
She continued “"This will be my first taste of European football and obviously there's so much to look forward to and so many big occasions to come. I can't wait to get started."
If we do have a weakness, then it will be in defence. Last season saw us bang in plenty of goals but shutting out the likes of City and Chelsea proved difficult. With Catley – Vice Captain for Australia – we have the nous and skill to shut up shop more effectively. She is also at home switching defensive positions – something boss Joe Montemurro is especially keen on;
“"We're privileged to have Steph at the club," head coach Joe Montemurro added.
"She suits our fluidity and she's very good in a positional sense, but more importantly she's very effective going forward, so we're excited to have her as part of the squad and we're looking forward to some exciting times together."
Catley will feel at home at Arsenal, with Montemurro and Caitlin Foord both Aussies. Her style and experience will be a great asset for our Women’s team and we can look forward to launching an even stronger title assault next season.