Joe Montemurro has said that becoming the new manager of the women’s team has been a surreal experience.

Montemurro was named as the new manager of the Arsenal women’s team in November and has begun settling into life in England.

The Australian has come a long way to manage in England, not just geographically, and feels honoured to be coaching a team he supports.

“Look, without using the common clichés, I am honoured and privileged. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m looking forward to the journey,” he told Arsenal.com.

He added that he’s yet to come down from the high of joining: “It’s a bit surreal. I sort of look and see that I’m wearing the badge and here seeing the legends and the people, so it’s very surreal actually. I’m sort of still coming down from the high, so I can’t explain it, it’s really difficult to explain, but I think surreal is the right word.”

Asked what it was that appealed about Arsenal the most, Montemurro said it was the club ethos and the way in aspires to play attacking, possession football.

“The thing that really hit me from the start was that it’s a real people’s club.
“I’d been here for a couple of days before I got the job, obviously to meet, greet and see.
“The thing that really stuck out was that they really care about their people and they really care about what they stand for and the ethos of the club. That was really evident without speaking of football.

“I’m an Arsenal fan and have been all my life, so obviously the footballing part of it suits the way that I think football should be played, in a proactive possession based game, and hopefully we can bring that forward in the women’s team also.”

Montemurro had spent all of his coaching career in Australia, where he achieved great success with Melbourne City WFC.

Few expected a coach from Australia to take over from Pedro Martinez Losa.

He explained how Arsenal contacted him and the straight-forward process behind his hiring.

“It’s interesting, I effectively got an email one night about some interest from a club overseas.
“Low and behold it was Arsenal and it just developed from there, so pretty much here I am and it was quite a straight forward process and quite interesting that it happened so quickly.
“Obviously they must have been monitoring and asked around about my qualities and credentials and so on and low and behold I’m here.”

Montemurro, who has a UEFA A coaching license through the Italian FA, said that despite Australia being a long way away, he couldn’t pass up the chance to coach Arsenal.

“I suppose football is a global family and wherever you’re asked to go and it’s the right opportunity, you take that opportunity and obviously it being a great organisation like Arsenal, was a pretty easy decision for me.
“Yes, the distance from Australia is a long, way away, but I think to be involved at the highest level you have to be at the best clubs and you make the decisions according to that. As I said, I’m just honoured and privileged to be here.”

His first game in charge will be a Women’s Super League fixture against Liverpool on December 10th.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,