The Matildas veteran and Melbourne City captain recounted what it was like to first join City from arch-nemesis Melbourne Victory, saying it was a tough decision, but she was hoping it would push women's football forward.

"At the time, and still, [City are] miles ahead of everything else available in the W-League," she said.

"The year after City came in, the standard of football had been pushed. There's no statistical thing that will show you what City did, but it's there.

"The W-League now, compared to what it was, everything counts. Leaving Melbourne Victory was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, I've always said if this helps, if it wakes up other clubs and helps other players, then it's worth it."

Catley - who has been heavily linked with Women's Super League giants Arsenal, and admitted she'll be looking at Europe in the next transfer window - believes the W-League still has a long way to go.

"I'd make the W-League longer, but I don't think it's in a position to compete with the other leagues in the world right now," she said.

"I'd say we need more internationals, to raise the level, but then we'd need a secondary league underneath it to offer young girls the opportunity."

Closer to home, Catley is currently dating fellow City footballer Dean Bouzanis. The fullback gave some interesting insights into what it's like balancing an ambitious, time-intensive career with personal relationships.

"[Dating a footballer] can be hard in some ways, but it's almost necessary in others. The way my career is going, I'm all over the place. He's based here, or in Europe. It's the understanding only another footballer can have.

"We're chasing whatever we can for the next few years and that's what we have to accept from each other.

"There's probably some angel out there that would understand me going away for two years, but he's going through the same thing.

"The fact that he's a goalkeeper helps, we have that separation. If he was a left back it would be pretty annoying," she laughs. "I have no idea about goalkeeping, so sometimes I throw in 'why don't you move your feet."

Catley's main focus at the moment however, is the Matildas with a spot in the Olympics on the line as the team readies for a titanic clash against China in the last of their Group B fixtures.

It's a new challenge for the Matildas, keen to impress after what Catley admits was a failure at the 2019 World Cup.

"You look at the team we have now, you'd say it was a golden generation," she said.

"It wasn't a success, but we can take things from that tournament. We can say, if we had of scored here, we could have gone on and won.

"The resilience to come back against Brazil - not many teams can do that. Especially if it's in Austalia, I think we can push."

Listen to the full interview here.