Juventus have appointed Joe Montemurro as new head coach of the women’s team, marking an immediate return to football for the Australian following his decision to step down as Arsenal boss at the end of the 2020/21 WSL season.
Montemurro spent nearly four years in charge of Arsenal but announced his resignation in April, citing a desire to take a ‘professional break’ from nine relentless years in order to ‘recharge’ and spend more time with his family.
Yet after taking charge of his final Arsenal game on 16 May – he admitted in the build-up to that match he had doubts about walking away – the break has lasted only a matter of weeks.
Montemurro will officially start his job as Juve boss on 1 July in preparation for the 2021/22 season, which sees the club aiming to win a fifth consecutive Serie A title.
Juve will once more be competing in the revamped Women’s Champions League, raising the possibility that Montemurro could encounter his old Arsenal team, having guided the Gunners back into the competition before he left them.
Montemurro takes a wealth of experience with him to Turin.
He started his coaching career in men’s football at a semi-professional level in his native Australia, before a brief spell in Papua New Guinea.
He then moved into the women’s game in 2014 when he was appointed by Melbourne Victory, going on to top the regular season standings and win the Finals series in the 2015/16 season.
Montemurro has hired by Arsenal in late 2017, winning the Continental Cup in his first season in charge and then delivering the club’s first WSL title for seven years in 2018/19.
The 51-year-old has longstanding connections to Italy and even Juve. His family emigrated from Italy to Australia after the Second World War, while Montemurro himself briefly played in Italy and studied for his UEFA A license and UEFA pro license there.
During his own short playing career he was on the books at a semi-professional Melbourne club named ‘Brunswick Juventus’, founded by the city’s Italian community in 1948.