Interview

‘It’s the right decision… we can now move on’

Montemurro

Joe Montemurro is adamant that ending the 2019/20 Women’s Super League season early is the right decision.

Our head coach was desperate to retain our title but believes, above all else, that the health and safety of his players is paramount.

We caught up with Montemurro earlier this week - and here’s what he had to say: 

on the WSL ending with immediate effect…
It was a little expected, and I was a little bit relieved too. We needed a decision and we needed to put closure on where we were heading for a lot of reasons and anxiety problems, but also to make sure that we can plan and prepare accordingly. I think it’s the right decision and I think that now we have closure, we can all move on and prepare.

on whether the players are in good shape…
They are. They’ve been brilliant in terms of adhering to the protocols that we put in place and trying to get their own anxieties and mental health in check. They’ve been fantastic and this reboot is going to be very, very important. Finishing the WSL was crucial, not just for the understanding of where we stand now, but I think it would have compromised the 2020/21 season too and there would have been a knock on effect with the Olympics coming up, the Euros in 22 and a World Cup in 23, so the majority of players wouldn’t have got a break. The decision has been the right one, but more importantly, with the knock on effect for years to come I think we’ll benefit from the decision that’s been made.

on how beneficial this break could be to our players…
It’s crucial because it’s like a pressure valve that’s finally been taken off! They can now re-calibrate, re-connect with family and enjoy some quality time with their friends once guidelines permit. It’s been so valuable for them to really connect with others and gain a better understanding of being themselves again, because after constantly being in high-pressure situations, you’re almost always on guard and aware of how you’re coming across in the media and on the pitch. Just to take that pressure valve off is really, really important and for a lot of them this time off will prove to be a real god send.

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