Women. New recruit Cataldo excited to be part of Magpies' 'journey'

01 Feb 24

New signing Lia Cataldo says she is excited to become part of Newcastle United Women's "journey" up the women's football ladder after completing her move from Crystal Palace Women

The 22-year-old defender, who won the Championship last season with Bristol City Women, finalised her move to the Magpies along with Eagles teammate Paige Bailey-Gayle on Wednesday.

And as she prepares to push for her second promotion in as many seasons, Cataldo believes something very special is happening at her new club.

"The girls already have got themselves to a good position at this point in the season," she told nufc.co.uk.

"I just want to come in and help them achieve success and continue on the journey they are on. I feel like I can come in and help with my qualities as well."

Cataldo, who hails from Peterborough and has also played for Leicester City Women, has received a typical Geordie welcome since moving up north.

"In the brief time that I have been here, everyone has been so welcoming," she said.

"I couldn't feel better right now, really. I am really looking forward to it and meeting the girls properly and getting involved in training."

United boss Becky Langley spoke to the defender before she signed, selling Cataldo her vision for where she sees the club going in both the short-term and the long-term.

Cataldo says that, coupled with the belief that Langley has in her players, was key to her decision to make the switch to the Magpies.

"Becky believing in her players and wanting the best for her players, you could see that massively in the conversations I had with her. I can see myself developing massively under Becky," she added.

"The belief and giving you the confidence to just go and kick on, that is a massive thing for me. When I saw that, it just gave me even more reason to come to the club.

"It's a project and it comes with challenges but in this situation, I am looking at the bigger picture.

"I think it is the right move for me right now. The club is going in a great direction, and you can see that from the outside, and when you come in you can definitely feel that."

The Magpies' fanbase was also part of Cataldo's thinking when a move to Newcastle started to materialise.

The backing of the Geordie supporters, she says, is something she cannot wait to experience.

"I'd say the fans are a massive part of (why I wanted to come)," she said.

"They had an unreal turnout when they played at St. James' Park. I have never played in front of a crowd like that before and that is really exciting.

"I am looking forward to this season and the potential opportunity of playing at that stadium.

"Their support is amazing and something I cannot wait to experience. I can't wait to hear them at St. James' Park, and at Kingston Park as well."

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