Former Arsenal coach to lead women’s A-League All Stars in first-ever match

The coaching staff have been chosen for the first-ever Women’s A-League All Stars match, to be played against English club Arsenal in Melbourne in late May.

The head coach of the Women’s All Stars will be former Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro.

His assistant coaches will be Central Coast Mariners’ head coach Emily Husband, who has led the Gosford club to the semi finals in their first season back in the competition, and Western United boss Kat Smith, who achieved a third-place regular season finish.

Main photo: Joe Montemurro … will coach the All Stars against his former club. Photo credit: A-Leagues.

Melbourne Victory’s Melissa Maizels has been appointed goalkeeper coach for the A-League All Stars, with all three rising female coaches set for a priceless experience under one of the most decorated coaches in the world of women’s football.

Montemurro (54) was born in Melbourne and launched his career in the Liberty A-League Women, before heading to Europe where he has enjoyed major success with Arsenal Women FC and more recently with Juventus FC Women.

He led Melbourne Victory to a second-placed finish in 2014, then crossed town to take charge of Melbourne City, where he won a Premiership and back-to-back Championships, and also becoming the first manager to go through a full season undefeated.

Those feats did not go unnoticed, with Montemurro being snapped up by the Gunners in 2017. Across four years at the club, he won the Women’s Super League (WSL) and the WSL Cup, and was nominated for The Best FIFA Football Coach as well as UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year.

Montemurro was head coach when the north London club signed CommBank Matildas stars Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord, who look likely to star against his A-Leagues All Stars side.

After departing Arsenal, the Aussie coach joined Italian giants Juventus and led a trophy-laden era for their women’s outfit. In his first season at the club, Montemurro claimed a treble, winning the Serie A Femminile, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana, the first ever in Serie A history, while also becoming the first boss in club history to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

He would go on to add another Coppa Italia medal in 2022-23 and another Supercoppa Italiana trophy in 2023-24, before his exit was announced in March.

Montemurro will return home to take charge of the finest talent the Liberty A-League Women has to offer. It will mark his first time coaching in Australia for seven years, since departing Melbourne City to take on Europe.

Montemurro said: “I wish to thank the A-Leagues team for including me as part of this historic event. I look forward to reconnecting with the Australian football public and working with Kat, Emily and Melissa — showcasing the exciting talent of the A-Leagues.”

New Zealand’s Hannah Wilkinson … to play for the first-ever Women’s All Stars team.

Melbourne Victory’s Alex Chidiac and Melbourne City’s Hannah Wilkinson have been unveiled as the first two members selected for Montemurro’s A-League All Stars squad.

The rest of the squad will be revealed as the game approaches.

The men’s All Stars will play English Premier League side Newcastle United in Melbourne before the women’s All Stars game at Marvel Stadium.

The All Stars games are part of a three-game football festival in Melbourne, with Newcastle United meeting EPL rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Melbourne Cricket Ground two days earlier.

The games are being staged by Australian Professional Leagues (APL), event partners TEG Sport and the Victorian Government.

For the Arsenal women’s team, it will be their first game in Australia, and they will have Matildas Steph Catley, Kyra Cooney-Cross and Caitlin Foord in their squad to meet a selection from the Liberty A-League clubs, including the Wellington Phoenix.

How to buy tickets

Tickets for all three matches and for the open training sessions are available at Ticketek Australia here >>>>


Game to be played on Wednesday May 22, 2024

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, 9.45pm (NZT)

Games to be played on Friday May 24, 2024

Men’s A-League All Stars v Newcastle United
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, 7.15pm (NZT)

Women’s A-League All Stars v Arsenal
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, 10.05pm (NZT)

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