Catley keen on more success

14 February 2017

FOOTBALL: After lifting the W-League trophy on the weekend, Steph Catley says the Australian Women's Football Team should shoot for its first piece of silverware in seven years when they play at the Algarve Cup next month.

The Australian team has risen to be the world No.6 under coach Alen Stajcic after recording quarter-final appearances at the most recent World Cup and Olympics.

They resume duties this week for the first time since the Rio Games last August, coming into camp to prepare for the Portugal-based tournament.

Catley, who at 23 years old is now a part of the Matildas furniture, will be one of the veterans in an expanded 25-woman group.

Joining in for the first time will be 15-year-old City teammate Jacynta Galabadaarachchi, and 17-year-old pair Jada Mathyssen-Whyman and Grace Maher.

Mathyssen-Whyman has wowed in goal for Western Sydney this season while Maher played a role in helping Canberra United finish top of the table.

The inclusion of Galabadaarachchi, who has had trials with major European clubs, at just 15 raised eyebrows, but Catley backed the young midfielder to make an impact.

"It's hard to know if a player is ready until they come in and train with us. I'll guess we'll see," she said.

"I think that's why Staj brought in a few players to see what its like and to see if they can make it with the big dogs.

"But I'm sure she'll be fine, she's an incredible player."

In Portugal, Australia face a taxing time against Sweden (ranked world No.8), Netherlands (12) and China (13).

While the top-ranked opponents will make passage to the final challenging, only Canada (world No.4) is ranked about the Matildas and Catley said that should bring confidence.

"We have an incredible team and we're straight off the back of a great season so we should be in good form," she said.

"You go into any tournament wanting to win it and everyone should be fit and firing.

"Hopefully we can put on a good show and come out with a win."

AAP 

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