Arsenal Women boss Joe Montemurro talked about managing his team remotely from his Melbourne home during lockdown in an interview with Ian Wright on adidas’ YouTube channel.
Montemurro returned to his native Melbourne for family reasons prior to lockdown. In recent weeks, he has been in touch with his team through video technology while they have been unable to train together at London Colney- a challenge made slightly more difficult by the 10 hour time difference.
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“The phone calls start at 6.30 or 7pm my time, which is about 9.30 – 10am your time, where I have staff calls and player calls. What we’ve done is given each staff member four or five players to take care of and I’ll dip into those four or five,” Montemurro said.
“We’ve just got to make it work in these situations, we’ve got a responsibility and the most important thing is to be available. The players’ mental health and wellbeing is paramount, so as long as they can pick up the phone and communicate. It’s a good time for them to reboot also, so we’re trying to make the most of it.”
Joe also described how a lack of soccer coverage during his youth in Australia gave him a greater appreciation of the game. “Growing up we didn’t have a lot of football, it’s not really a football culture, we play Aussie Rules, rugby and cricket. I’m from a migrant family, we’re Italian, we love football, it’s part of our culture- our staple diet. We were surrounded by other sports, so we had to fight for our little piece of the sport. That gave me a good grounding to love the game and to fight for it.”
If you haven’t seen it yet, why not check out our exclusive interview with Katie McCabe on adapting to playing at left-back this season.