57. Steph Catley
At 23,Orlando Pride’s Steph Catley has certainly confirmed her status as one of the best modern left backs in the women’s game.
Voted in the second best eleven in NWSL for 2017, losing out to Chicago’s Casey Short, Catley had another solid season for an ever-improving side, chipping in with a couple of assists along the way.
Named in September’s team of the month, Catley only missed one match throughout Pride’s march to the play-offs for the first time and had another good year for an Australia side who are improving as quickly as her club.
Alen Stajcic, Australia national team head coach says:
“I think she’s one of the best left sided full backs, she’s a really consistent performer at a high level. She’s technically good and becoming one of the key players for both Orlando and the national team.
Steph’s best aspect growing up were her defensive qualities, but she’s married that up with getting forward and adding creativity to her game. Even though she’s one of our best players, I think she’s got a lot left in her and can become the best left back in the world.”
Tom Sermanni, Orlando Pride manager says:
“The thing about Steph is that she’s arguably the best attacking left back in the entire world; certainly the best attacking left back in the NWSL, so she gives you a real dynamic presence going forward. She creates chances, makes runs beyond the oppositions defenses which, for a full back, is extremely rare and valuable. And she’s able to do that from minute 1 to minute 90. It’s not just that, it’s her energy and capacity to still be making those long runs and those aggressive attacking runs right up until the last minute.”
Elise Kellond-Knight, Australia team mate says:
“Steph is one of the most consistent and reliable players of the Matildas. She’s quick and aggressive, making her a world class defender but she also has a key understanding and eye for the game. She’s a true team player and will do everything she can to put the team first.”
Caitlin Foord, Australia team mate says:
“Steph is a leader on and off the field. I feel very safe playing with her behind me. In my personal opinion, one of the best left footers in the world, you won’t see a better ball whipped in than one from Steph Catley.”
Kieran Theivam, UK/US women’s football writer says:
“Steph Catley has developed into one of the best full-backs in the world and has become so good defensively, she’s even played at centre-back at times too.
“The Australian defender’s positioning is one of her main strengths, but it’s her ability in one on one defending that has really developed, standing up to some of the best wide players for both club and country.
“She helped her club the Orlando Pride to the post season play-offs this season, whilst for Australia she is part of a side that won nine out of 11 fixtures in 2017, including three wins out of three in the inaugural Tournament of Nations against USA, Japan and Brazil.”