Joe Montemurro has been named LMA Manager of the Month for March.
During the month of March, Arsenal scored 10 goals against Bristol City (4), Liverpool (5) and Birmingham (1) while only conceding one goal against Liverpool. Their results took them to the top of the table, secured a return to Champions League football, and leaves them within two wins of securing the title ahead of Manchester City who they play in the final game of the season.
“A successful March was always going to be critical to achieving our goals for the season,” Montemurro told the LMA. “I’d like to recognise the commitment and dedication of the players and the staff who share in this award. Thank you to all involved.”
Chair of the League Managers Association panel Marieanne Spacey-Cale said: “This season’s title race is wide open with Arsenal and Manchester City both pushing each other towards an exciting run-in.
“Joe’s squad has taken the advantage with three excellent performances in March. Despite injuries to key players, the team has hit form at the perfect time and will be full of confidence going into the final weeks of the season.”
As a reward, Montemurro was presented with a “crystal trophy courtesy of Thomas Lyte, appointed a Royal Warrant as goldsmiths and silversmiths to Her Majesty the Queen.”
Before arriving at Arsenal, 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 are 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, whom he guided to promotion. After that was a brief stint with North West Wanderers, before returning to youth football in 2010 with South Melbourne.
It was in 2014 that he got his first major job coaching in women’s football. Having gained his UEFA A license, he was appointed head coach for women’s football at the National Training Centre in Melbourne.
His work there saw him become a youth coach with the Melbourne Victory Women’s team, who he guided to the highest league position in their history, before moving clubs again, this time to Melbourne City, the newest acquisition of the Manchester City Football Group.
When Melbourne City’s women’s team joined the Australian Women’s League, Montemurro became their head coach. It was there that he had his biggest successes to date and likely came to Arsenal’s attention.
In his first season in charge, Melbourne City went the entire campaign without losing, scoring 42, conceding just five and winning the league and cup double, all in their maiden season in the division. His second season wasn’t quite as impressive, as they finished fourth in the league. However, it still ended in success as they went on to win the play-offs and be crowned Champions for a second season running.
In the meantime, his role with City had expanded to include assisting with the men’s team in the A-League. By 2017, he had become the Chief Assistant Coach and had to relinquish control of the women’s team.
10 months later, he took up his first job outside of Melbourne, 10,497 miles away in north London.