Women

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Interview

‘I want to be the best Sari that I can be’

Sari van Veenendaal had to bide her time when she joined us back in July 2015.

The Netherlands stopper faced the unenviable task of dislodging record appearance maker Emma Byrne as our first-choice goalkeeper for her first season in English football.
 
Since then, however, she’s been our undisputed No 1 and was rewarded with a new contract on Friday.
 
“I’m feeling proud to play for Arsenal and proud every time I wear the Arsenal kit, and being around my team-mates,” she told Arsenal Player. “It’s an amazing feeling.
 
“I think I can still develop myself and I’m feeling better every year. I’ve learnt a lot here and have great team-mates and staff around me. I think that will help me to develop myself every single week, every single day, to be the best Sari I can be.
 
“Joe’s really important for me. He knows exactly how he wants us to play. I think the goalkeeper is a big part of that for him, how he wants us to play, and he’s really important for me as well.
 
“I think amazing things are going to happen here and I want to be a part of that. I’m really looking forward to the next season. I actually can’t wait and I’m really excited for it."

Arsenal Women

McCabe and Quinn sign new deals

Katie McCabe and Louise Quinn have signed new contracts with the club.
 

The Republic of Ireland internationals have been a core part of Joe Montemurro’s side this year, resulting in them both signing new deals.

Katie joined us from Irish side Shelbourne Ladies in 2015, and aside from a short loan spell with Glasgow City last year, has become a regular within our first team, helping us win an SSE Women’s FA Cup and two Continental Cups so far.

Louise joined us from Notts County Ladies in 2017 and has proven to be a crucial part of the squad, forming a strong defensive partnership with Leah Williamson to help us win the Continental Cup last season.

Joe Montemurro said: “Katie and Louise are both very talented players. They both bring so much to our squad. Louise is a strong, talented and committed defender and Katie is a technical and intelligent player. We are delighted that they have chosen to sign new contracts with us.”

Louise Quinn

Interview

‘Mitchy has really taken me under her wing’

A natural forward, Katie McCabe has had to adapt to a new position since arriving at the club back in 2015.

The 22-year-old built up a reputation as a prolific winger in Ireland but has had to establish herself as a dependable option at left back after moving to north London.
 
It was a big move for McCabe both on and off the pitch, but fortunately she had a number of players to help her adapt to her new surroundings.
 
“Since coming here, Emma Byrne and Emma Mitchell were great for me,” she told Arsenal Player. “Obviously since Emma’s departure, I’ve still had little Mitchy taking me under her wing.
 
“The girls will make fun of us for being two peas in a pod, but she’s been fantastic. She’s a great friend and one of the great things that I’ve had coming here.
 
“I think Joe [Montemurro] sees me at left back but I don’t mind it to be fair. I like being higher up the park, trying to score goals, trying to create chances for the team to win matches but once I’m on there and giving it my all, that’s all I like doing.
 
“I’m ecstatic really to sign a new contract and be a part of a club like Arsenal for even longer,” McCabe added. “I just want to keep pushing on and getting in the team to start really staking a claim for my place. I want to keep my head down, working hard to help Arsenal win more trophies.”

Interview

‘She has always been a strong role model’

Katie McCabe may be one of the youngest international captains in the women’s game, but she has had plenty of support from the senior figures around her.

The Republic of Ireland forward was given her country’s armband aged just 21 back in August 2017 and, although there have been obstacles to overcome, she has learned from Louise Quinn.
 
“It’s been fantastic,” McCabe told Arsenal Player. “I started playing with her when I first broke into the Ireland team a couple of years back.
 
“She’s a presence on and off the pitch and I’ve learnt a lot from her. I always have that role model to ask for help if I need it, and she’s been fantastic since coming here. She’s really made her stamp on things here and she’s been terrific.
 
“She has that real leader presence which I strongly admire, and she really sets the tone in training and in games with her intensity and her work-rate. I really admire that and look up to her.
 
“Being announced captain at such a young age was something different for everybody I think. For me, I’m always learning from the older girls in the squad and Colin Bell himself, all about how I can lead the team in the best way possible. Learning from the likes of Louise and Niamh Fahey, it’s been a great help for me.”

Katie McCabe

Interview

‘She’s evolving into a top-class player’

Louise Quinn couldn’t be prouder of Katie McCabe.

Given the Republic of Ireland captaincy aged just 21, McCabe has steered the national team into a new era, with Colin Bell’s side well placed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in France.
 
Quinn has witnessed McCabe’s rise for club and country, and says she has the attributes and personality to become an even more important player.
 
“She’s brilliant, she’s exactly what a team needs,” Quinn told Arsenal Player. “She’s always full of energy, she brings people together, she brings the craic and the banter, and she’s exactly the team-mate that you want. She performs on the pitch as well, so she’s an all-rounder.
 
“As Irish team-mates, we’ve played together for a good few years now and to be at such a big club like Arsenal and do it together, it makes it that bit easier to feel that bit more at home, having an Irish team-mate here with me.
 
“I’ve seen Katie progress as well and she’s already been a top-class player, but you can see that she’s evolving more into that. It’s great to see and I’m delighted for her.
 
“She’s the captain but we have a lot of leaders in that team who all help each other through it. For her the future’s bright and she’s just going to keep growing into that role. There’s been a lot of changes to the squad as well but how she’s handled it has been professional. She’s matured into that role and it’s something that is only going to get better and better.
 
“There’s plenty more to come. She has the flair, she has the talent and to bring a leadership role to that will hopefully put her at the top of her game in the top bracket of players that are around. It’s something brilliant for her. It can take some time but so far she’s proving herself and she deserves it.”

Louise Quinn and Katie McCabe lift the Continental Cup

Interview

‘I’m proud to be here and keep winning prizes’

Dominique Janssen has gone from strength to strength during her time with us.

Only five current players have made more appearances than the Netherlands international since she joined us from SGS Essen in July 2015.
 
In fact, only two players started more games for us last season, and Janssen was awarded for her consistency with a new contract on Friday.
 
“I’m really happy, especially now that Joe’s come in,” she told Arsenal Player. “It’s been a big change, so I’m really happy to be staying here and I’m getting better as a player here.
 
“If you just look at the history, it’s a very big club and we’d really like to win more prizes than we have already. I’m proud to be here and win those prizes. I just want to continue.
 
“I feel like I’m getting more important with my position. I think my performances are getting better too, so I just want to be a better player for the team. That’s what I’m trying to do.
 
“Joe’s very enthusiastic and I think you can see on the pitch that the team is getting very enthusiastic too. He just puts a lot of faith into his players and is all about the players.
 
“He just wants us to perform well and whenever we have a bad day he’s just like, ‘Come on guys, in the next game we just have to get back in the game again and stay focused’. He’s really good for the team.”

Interview

Van de Donk How my game has evolved here

When Danielle van de Donk arrived in north London in November 2015, she was one of Europe’s deadliest No 10s.

With an eye for a pass and bags of composure in front of goal, the Netherlands international was equally as adept on the wings and up front.
 
But last season saw Van de Donk reinvent herself as a deep-lying midfielder and after signing a new contract on Friday, the 26-year-old paid tribute to Joe Montemurro’s impact.
 
“He gave me a lot of trust,” she told Arsenal Player. “That’s the main thing. The communication between Joe and me is good and I like to be open with a manager.
 
“I’ve always had a bit [of defensive work] in me. Normally I would play No 10 and I was just playing all over the pitch. I just want the ball, even if there’s a bit of defensive work I would do that defensive work. I prefer the ball at my feet and just dribbling in attack. 
 
“If it’s an attacking role then I love it a bit more, but Joe’s also played me in a defensive role and that’s more of a trust thing between Joe and I. He likes me building up from deep because I’m calm and confident on the ball, so I don’t really mind. It’s just where he wants me and I’ll play there.
 
“I think Joe’s going to bring some stronger players into the squad - not many, because we don’t need many - and I think we’re going to go for the prizes next year again. Hopefully there will be a few more prizes.”