The last wave from champion Cath

Cath Sattler in the campervan that she and husband Andy will use to travel around Australia. 159073

By Justin Flynn

CHAMPION Surfside Waves soccer player Cath Sattler had already decided to call time on her career even before being knocked unconscious in her final game.
Playing against Deakin a few weeks ago, Sattler was battling the strong Ducks outfit in defence, heading the ball and marshalling the troops as usual. She took a particularly nasty knock in the first half, and five minutes from full time she had to be substituted, where she collapsed on the sidelines.
“It scared me to be honest – I don’t remember the game at all,” she said.
“You don’t want to leave your team-mates out there to fight the good fight. I came off and hit the deck and started shaking. The paramedics came and they were just fantastic.”
Sattler made a full recovery, but her retirement plans hadn’t changed. She hangs up the boots with a decorated career behind her, which started in the UK with Rochedale Borough Ladies. She then played at Surfside and had stints at Geelong, Barwon, Barwon Heads, Drysdale and then back to Surfside to finish her career.
Sattler and her husband Andy, who is also coach of Surfside Waves Women’s Division 1 side, are selling their Ocean Grove home and plan to take a year off to travel around Australia in their motor home.
The 49-year-old, who has won four league best-and-fairest awards, has many memorable moments during her time, but one stands out.
“It’s got to be last season’s semi-final against Kardinia – we were fourth and they were first and we were never expected to win,” she recalled.
“We equalised in the 89th minute and in extra time I scored the winner.”
While Sattler said she will miss playing football, her body just can’t cope any longer.
“The last two seasons, the bond and camaraderie between every player has been something special,” she said.
“I know already that I’m going to miss it heaps. But as I’ve gotten older, the engine has slowed down and my knee just won’t stand up during games like they used to.
Sattler said playing under her husband as coach had never been an issue.
“It’s really good – he treats me like another player and I treat him like a coach,” she said.
Sattler leaves the Waves in a strong off-field position.
“Female participation in the last two years has grown by 200 per cent,” she said.
“The Miniroos, which is for six-to-11-year-olds, is the biggest part of the club now. It’s just such a fantastic sport to play and I think parents are really starting to realise that.”
Apart from travelling, running is now high on the agenda.
“I used to use it to get fit for soccer, but now it’s a passion in itself,” she said.
“I wouldn’t mind doing a marathon.”
Sattler said she will find it difficult not playing with her good friends at the club.
“I’ll miss Gina (Murphy) the most,” she said.
“She’s such an unassuming player, but reads the game so well.”