Matildas defender Steph Catley says it’s important Australia have “no excuses” going into next year’s World Cup as she goes under the knife to end a prolonged knee problem.
The 24-year-old defender, who has had a long 2018, had surgery following the match with England after “chuffing along” with the injury for a while.
With the W-League due to start imminently, and Catley being a key figure amongst her Melbourne City side, she removed fears that the procedure might rule her out of the domestic competition.
“Yeah it’s an injury I’ve had a little while, about three or four years that I’ve just been chuffing along with, but going into a World Cup I don’t want to hold onto that. So that’s pretty much what’s going to happen.
“Its minor surgery, so it won’t rule me out. It’s a little clean up.
“We’ve had a few players who’ve had a little rest or surgery to nip in the bud to make sure we’re ready for the World Cup. We want to be fit; firing off the back of a W-league season, so there’s no excuses.”
Catley was speaking after her side snatched a respectable 1-1 draw in London against England, despite her team being under pressure for much of the match, and perhaps being on the right side of some questionable refereeing decisions.
She admitted her side were lucky at times, but was pleased with the result overall.
“We knew it was going to be tough, this whole week was going to be tough with the outs we had and some debutants, players playing out of position and coming back off injury. So to come out with a draw, even though we were pretty lucky at times, I think it’s still a good draw.”
The Matildas have been renowned for their ability to break quickly down the flanks, with the likes of Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso looking to exploit space in behind opposition defences.
Well, Raso was unavailable, along with a number of other senior players, and Foord played at left-back, which meant Australia operated with a makeshift lineup that England took advantage of – ironically down the flanks.