Arsenal Women are absolutely flying this season having just put five past the reigning Champions, Chelsea, away from home. So who is the manager that looks to have the team back on track?
1Not your average Joe
Joe – or “Pepe”, as he prefers to be known – Montemurro wasn’t a name familiar to most football fans, even the ones who follow the women’s game. Certainly, few expected it’d be a coach from Australia replacing Pedro Martinez Losa as the manager of the Arsenal women’s team. However, Arsenal did their homework to find an interesting coach who would take the team forward.
Montemurro is, if nothing else, highly qualified.
As a player, Montemurro had spells at Brunswick Zebras in Australia, Neuchetel Xamax in Switzerland and Potenza in Italy. His playing career was predominantly spent in Australia as a midfielder until he retired and moved into coaching in 1995. From that point, it was all about education and learning from his idols.
Montemurro spent much of his coaching career hopping between various youth set-ups in Australia. From 2001 to 2006, he headed three different teams and had reasonable success. Green Gully Soccer Club, a Melbourne-based club that participated in the Victoria Premier League, was his first big break. He took their u21 side to second place in his first year. He then moved on to coach the youth team of the Melbourne Knights, who were then playing in the now defunct National Soccer League. It was during the 2002-03 season that he guided them to the play-off to become the National Youth Champions. When the National Soccer League folded in 2004, Montemurro was offered a senior position in the Victorian Premier League. However, he opted to stay in youth football, and moved on to cross-town rivals South Melbourne.
It wasn’t until 2006 that he made the set-up to senior football. His record at South Melbourne saw him drafted in by Sunshine George Cross. The Georgies, as they were known, were struggling near the bottom of the Victorian Premier League. Montemurro was tasked with keeping them up and, with a draw against Melbourne Knights on the final day of the season, he did exactly that. He parted ways in mid-2007 to take on a role at Hume City, who he guided to promotion. After that was a brief stint with North West Wanderers, before returning to youth football in 2010 with South Melbourne.
Next, Major step up…