Hardest year of my career says Arsenal's Catley
- Credit: PA
Arsenal's Steph Catley has reflected on the toughest year in her career after missing a large chunk of the season with an ankle and hamstring injury that required surgery.
The Australian international, preparing for games against Denmark and Sweden this month, told the official Australian website: "It’s definitely been the hardest year of my football career.
"The injuries just kept coming and I couldn’t find the answers, but I found strength in myself I didn’t know I had and also strength in my relationships with the people around me.
"I learnt to lean on people and overall I feel like I’ve come out the other side of it all a much better athlete.”
Catley played six games in the Women's Super League in total for the Gunners as they finished third to qualify for the Champions League.
You may also want to watch:
The 27-year-old featured against Reading, West Ham United, Birmingham City, Manchester City, Everton and Aston Villa and the left-back says she has learnt lessons from the injuries suffered.
"I’m now better at preparing, I feel stronger physically and mentally and just have a real appreciation for being out on the field every day doing what I love,” she added.
- 1 5 films you may not know where shot in Hackney
- 2 Man loses sight in eye after "attack" outside Hackney chip shop
- 3 Owner of UK's first vegan Indian takeaway: 'I have shaken the entire industry'
- 4 Chatsworth Road trader told to pay up to £455 for licence to sell on land he says is his
- 5 Hackney boxing champion Kirkland Laing dies aged 66
- 6 Phone snatcher admits guilt after robberies in Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets
- 7 Woman accused of murdering man in Hackney appears in court
- 8 Delta Covid strain spreads in Hackney with high rates in neighbouring boroughs
- 9 Hackney flat block damaged as 25 firefighters respond to barbecue blaze
- 10 5 great places in north London to watch England's Euro 2020 campaign
“I’m feeling really good, my body feels strong and I’ve been back on the field for the last few months now so I’ve got a good amount of load back there too. But also mentally I feel really fresh and just excited to be on the field every single day.”
On Australia's camp in Sweden ahead of the summer Olympics, Catley said: “It’s the best feeling in the world. Being part of the Matildas means so much to me, so not seeing all the girls and being part of the group for so long has been so hard.
"But I’m finally fit and just so excited to see everyone and get cracking on our preparation. I’ve missed the people, from the players to the staff. It’s just a really special group."
When asked about the Australian players in the Women's Super League, Catley added: "A lot of the girls are over here in London with me so we have managed to spend a lot of time together which has been really nice, but there’s nothing like being on the same team again.
“I think our team has a really unique and deep bond that separates us from other teams. I think wherever we are in the world, whatever team we’re playing for, we’re always there to support each other and want the best for one another.
“I’ve grown up with the majority of these girls and they’re definitely like family to me.”