Arsenal signing of City coach a sign of Westfield W-League’s new respect

Australian coaches are well regarded in England across many sports.

Long have the English admired the committed Australian sporting culture and, in turn, what Aussie coaches bring to their sporting teams.

This summer, England’s Ashes cricket team are coached by an Australian, Trevor Bayliss.

Their World Cup Rugby League team is helmed by Wayne Bennett and are on track for a strong World Cup, Eddie Jones is coaching the English Rugby Union side while Shane Sutton (cycling) and various Aussie coaches in swimming have made their mark in England.

In football terms, the English FA has grasped the importance of women’s football and has ploughed large sums of money into their national programs.

England’s Lionesses, like Australia, are well placed to challenge the world superpowers of the women’s game over the coming few years.

Similarly, the clubs are getting on board with the FA Women’s Super League growing in confidence and quality (there are two divisions with 10 teams each).

Now Arsenal, one of the biggest names in English club football, have finalised their search for a Women’s Super League coach and appointed Australian Joe Montemurro for their WSL 1 side.

Montemurro was a key figure in the establishment of Melbourne City FC Women’s team, securing an unbeaten Championship-Premiership double in the team’s inaugural 2015/16 season.

The 48-year-old also helped to guide City to record back-to-back titles in the Westfield W-League – the first Club to do so in the competition’s history – in his second season.

Joe Montemurro

 

Arsenal's Kim Little played under Montemurro at City

What a feather in the cap of the system in Australia and the emerging W-League that Arsenal have opted for the UEFA A Pro-licensed coach.

Now, Montemurro has the possibility of coaching in the European Champions League as well as in the league against sides like Chelsea and Manchester City, where his new side Arsenal are fourth after four games and on seven points in the 10 team league.

Montemurro replaces Pedro Martinez Losa, who left the Gunners in late October after three years in charge.

Westfield Matildas coach Alen Stajcic said the appointment by the Gunners is another reason to respect the W-League.

“We have excellent coaches in the W-League. Joe was part of the Melbourne City Group who really took the W-League by the scruff of the neck and in my opinion became the first professional women’s team in this country.

“They really took the game to a new level and Joe was very much part of that. The resources, facilities, coaching, they are a leader and have lifted the standard for everyone.”

Arsenal are home to Sunderland this Sunday.