Steph Catley was injured by a very poor challenge from Gilly Flaherty early in the game against West Ham on 12 September.
The Arsenal left-back was substituted as a precaution and is expected to train as normal in the coming week.
FA Concussion protocol dictates Catley should be removed from playing or training for a minimum of 14 days rest. We can assume Arsenal are saying Catley did not have concussion.
There was much talk during and after the game, which Arsenal went on to win 9-1, about the offside decision that led to Flaherty’s outburst and subsequent second yellow but little-to-no discussion of the challenge she most certainly ‘left’ on Catley that required the Arsenal player to be taken off with just 19 minutes on the clock.
Flaherty was booked but, on another day in another game, could quite easily have seen red and perhaps should have.
‘They don’t like it up ’em’ also applies to the logic of some players and coaches when playing Arsenal women, as we had to listen to repeatedly thanks to the BTSports comms who were, as I said, more aggrieved by the poor offside call than Flaherty’s challenge.
After the game, Tim Stillman spoke to Joe Montemurro:
Yeah I asked him, he said it was just a precaution and she’ll train as normal next week.
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) September 12, 2020
Considered one of the best-left backs in the world, the 26-year-old Catley has previously worked under Montemurro when he was at Melbourne City.
Catley signed for Seattle Reign in 2018 from the Orlando Pirates before being sent on loan back to Melbourne. In fact, although she first moved to the States in 2014 to sign for the Portland Thorns, who loaned her out to Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, Catley played more games in Australia while owned by teams in the USA.
Melbourne City are part of the City group who own Manchester City, New York City, Yokohama F. Marinos, Montevideo City Torque, Girona FC, Sichuan Jiuniu FC, and Mumbai City FC as well as a host of other football groups in Japan, Singapore, China and India.
Speaking before the World Cup in France during the summer, Catley said, “I’ve also played in America for the last 6 years. Two years in Portland, two in Orlando, and I am now in my second season with Seattle. I’m very proud of my achievements in football but mostly I’m proud of the way I’ve been able to come back from setbacks and life hurdles and still be able to compete and better myself every day.
“I’ve been injured a lot, in many cases during major tournaments. And I also lost my father suddenly at the end of last year. Within this, football suddenly doesn’t feel as important, but one thing I’ve learnt is that the people, the unity and the family that you develop with people within football are the most important part of all of it. And for those relationships, I’m forever grateful.”
Knee injuries have been a problem recently which will be certainly something to keep an eye on should the deal go through.
“My career has been a steady incline from the day that I started.” she added. “When I began, I just loved playing. I was the only girl in a boy’s team for six years. I loved the challenge, I loved proving people wrong, I loved winning but mostly I loved getting better. Mum would often threaten that I wouldn’t be allowed to train if I was acting up when I was younger, and to me it was the ultimate threat and would put me straight back into line.”