Joe Montemurro, the Old Paradian who managed Melbourne City Women and, more recently Arsenal Women to championship victories at home and abroad, has made it known to the English FA that he would be interested in coaching the national women's team.
In an interview with the journalist Dan Kilpatrick for London’s afternoon newspaper the Evening Standard this week, Joe was quoted as saying it would be “an amazing privilege” to succeed Phil Neville as England boss. Neville, the former Manchester United defender, is to step down from the position when his coaching contract expires in mid-2021.
Last year, Joe, the College’s final year student of 1987, was the subject of intense interest from the United States Soccer Federation, whose request to interview him as a prospective replacement for Jill Ellis as the United States’ national women’s coach was refused by Arsenal to which he committed on a new long-term contract in October 2018.
Whilst conceding he didn’t know whether he would expect a serious approach from the English FA, Joe told the Standard’s reporter: “If I were to be asked it would be an amazing honour”.
“To have the privilege of taking a great nation with some great players – a nation that will be challenging for World Cups and Euros and the top tournaments – would be an incredible honour,” he said.
Joe is currently in self-isolation in Melbourne with his wife and teenage son, having returned to Australia with the enforced competition shutdown in early March. Regardless, he has held daily online hook-ups with his players and staff despite the 10-hour time difference – and in his precious down time furthered his work on a PhD examining sports coaches who have achieved long-term success.
In November 2017, with the English season already four rounds in, Joe grasped the opportunity of a lifetime, in replacing Pedro Martinez Losa as Manager of Arsenal Women.
At the time, Arsenal was placed fourth behind Reading, Manchester City Women and Chelsea Ladies. Ultimately it took the FA WSL Continental Cup League title under Joe’s watch, on the end of a 1-0 victory over Manchester City.
It’s been an extraordinary rise in the world game for Joe - the career manager who lists amongst his credentials a UEFA Pro License qualification and a Masters Degree in Sports Coaching, and boasts an impeccable coaching record with Melbourne City Women.
In his first season with Melbourne City (2015/’16) Joe coached his team to an unbeaten championship-winning campaign. The City team emulated that achievement through 2016/’17, completing back-to-back championships under his watch.
The youngest of three Montemurro brothers, Joe followed Anthony (1976) and John (1978) through the Parade gates. Anthony currently commits his energies as a Year 12 LOTE co-ordinator at South Morang’s Marymede Catholic College, while John serves as an architect.
In 1986, whilst meeting his Year 11 responsibilities, Joe committed to NSL club Brunswick Juventus. The following year he captained Parade’s 1st XI soccer team then coached by John Palomares – a first-year mentor who succeeded John Pyrgos.
Though the Paradians savoured only one victory in the seven-round season (2-1 over North Melbourne at home), Joe (who also took seasonal goalkicking honours) recalled being part of a special time in the game’s evolution when soccer wasn’t generally afforded the respect commanded by Australian Rules and cricket.
“Even though it was a third or fourth-tier sport, we boys just went ahead and played – which furthers your love for the game when you just make things work out of nothing,” Joe said at the time of his Arsenal appointment.
And when asked what the women of Arsenal could expect of Manager Montemurro, Joe replied: “I’m probably very, very empathetic to the players”.
“I try to allow the players to solve the problems within the framework,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m a dictator. I would best describe myself as a passionate, empathetic coach.”