‘It was a grind’ – Catley’s pride as City cap ‘unbelievable season’ by battling to Grand Final glory

Captain Steph Catley was beaming with pride as Melbourne City showed their toughness in a gritty Westfield W-League Grand Final 2020 triumph over Sydney FC.

Catley’s 15th-minute strike, spilled into her own net by goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, was all that separated the Westfield W-League’s most successful sides behind closed doors at AAMI Park.

While the star-studded City side dispatched the rest of the competition in style on their way to lifting the Premiers Plate in an undefeated season, the defending champion Sky Blues made them sweat in the season finale.

And Catley insisted the trophy double was the least her dominant side deserved as City lifted an unprecedented fourth Championship with a 1-0 win against the three-time champions, Sydney FC.

“It’s been an unbelievable season,” Catley said.

“[Saturday’s game] was a battle, Sydney really took it to us and it was a grind the whole game.

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REPORT: Catley strike seals Melbourne City's record fourth Westfield W-League title
ROAD TO THE GRAND FINAL: Melbourne City

Steph Catley Lydia Williams
Captain Catley and goalkeeper Lydia Williams lift the Westfield W-League Championship for a fourth time in five years.

“The whole season has been amazing and, at the end of the day, I think we deserve it, Catley added.

“We got the job done. Even through it was a tough game, we got over the line so I’m so proud of the girls.”

City stalwart Aivi Luik admits the display was far from vintage for an outfit that had run rampant over much of the competition but, for her team, that ultimately does not matter.

“It was a tough one, like Steph said, and I don’t think we played our best football – the usual football that we do,” Luik said.

“But we got the job done and we battled. Credit to Sydney FC, they played a great game but I think we were deserving at the end of the season.”

Aivi Luik celebrates with Steph Catley, Rebekah Stott and Ellie Carpenter.
Aivi Luik celebrates with Steph Catley, Rebekah Stott and Ellie Carpenter.
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Kyah Simon suffered an injury-plagued year in 2019 but, after appearing in 11 matches this season, the 28-year-old was delighted to be back in the big time.

“Last year I missed out in pretty much the whole season,” Simon said.

“To be here and play a part in getting the team to the Grand Final, and then us capping it off an winning the Championship, is really special for me.

“It had everything, the physicality, a little bit scrappy at times.”

“[It] definitely makes all of those tough times all the more worthwhile – being here with my teammates, celebrating success and lifting that trophy.”

ROAD TO THE GRAND FINAL: Sydney FC
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James Johnson’s message to Australia’s football family

City champions
Melbourne City become the first team in Westfield W-League history to claim four Championships.
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