Back in November, with the English season already four rounds in, Old Paradian Joe Montemurro (1987) 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.

On Wednesday night, Joe commandeered the Gunners to the FA WSL Continental Cup League title, on the end of a 1-0 victory over Manchester City.

“All credit to the girls who played very well,” Joe told afterwards.

“Our gameplan went very well for 50 or 60 minutes but then Man City threw everything at us towards the end and it got a little bit hairy. We got there in the end.

“It’s actually been seven games since we last conceded a goal and City created a couple of very good chances in the second half. We dominated the first half though and we got the rewards.

“Winning the competition means a lot to me, but we have to make it habit again. It’s hopefully one of many going forward. I just applaud the players because they’ve worked so hard ever since I came in and they’re starting to believe again. We just want to get better and better.”

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. Which is why Joe joined Arsenal with City’s best wishes.

The youngest of three Montemurro brothers, Joe followed Anthony (1976) and John (1978) through the Parade gates. Anthony currently commits his energies to South Morang’s Marymede Catholic College as Vice-Principal, 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 honors) 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 in November.

And when asked at the time 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.”

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“Joe Montemurro has only been in charge for less than five months, but he’s led them to silverware.” - To view highlights of Arsenal Women’s FA WSL Continental Cup win, and to see Joe’s reaction at the final whistle, click on the following link;