When Steph Catley signed with Melbourne City for the club’s inaugural Westfield W-League season, she wasn’t sure how long it would take for the club to achieve success.
But on Sunday the club will turn out in their third grand final in as many years and they have the opportunity to create history and becoming the first team to win three successive Westfield W-League titles.
“Yeah, it is a bit unbelievable,” said Catley ahead of Sunday’s decider against Sydney FC.
“Signing for City three seasons ago I never would have expected something like this would be around the corner.
“For new teams, it’s unusual to have success so early and so consistently so to have a chance to win a third grand final is really exciting.”
City only just snuck into the finals on the back of a final round win over Newcastle Jets to finish fourth, before upsetting Premiers Brisbane Roar in last weekend’s semi-final.
While it was a campaign blighted by inconsistent performances, City has got it right when it counted.
Asked why that’s the case, Catley said: “I think we have a lot of big game players. The game against Brisbane really showed that.
“We’ve had some ups and downs this season but coming into the Newcastle game and last week, everyone really stepped up.
“We’ve got four or five really experienced players that love the big occasion and that’s great going into a grand final, knowing we have those players.”
Sydney FC is likely to start favourites having gone unbeaten in their last 10 matches, while they also beat City 3-2 in the team’s only meeting this season.
But the Sky Blues have been dealt a blow with start striker Caitlin Foord to miss the match after undergoing foot surgery this week.
“It’s awful news for Caitlin and the national team too. It’s a big, big loss. I guess this weekend it’s a plus for us because she is so dominant and so dangerous,” Catley admitted.
“It changes their structure I suppose as they will have someone younger up front but they have some dangerous players.
“They still have Lisa De Vanna and some other dangerous players. We’ve been really focusing on our defence this week and hopefully we can counter them.”