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Aussie Montemurro takes reins at women's giants Lyon

3 minute read

Joe Montemurro, successful at both Arsenal and Juventus, is to now take the reins at the biggest club in European women's soccer, Lyon.

Joe Montemurro, the Australian who guided Arsenal and Juventus to national titles in England and Italy, will hope to repeat the trick at French giants Lyon after being named manager of Europe's most successful women's club.

The eight-times European champions, Olympique Lyonnais Feminin, named the 54-year-old Melburnian as their new boss on a two-year deal on Wednesday - the first time a non-French coach has taken the reins of the powerhouse outfit in its 20-year history.

Montemurro replaces club legend Sonia Bompastor, who has left to take over at Sam Kerr's Chelsea, and will link up with Ellie Carpenter, the Matildas star who has won two Champions League trophies with the French champions.

Montemurro, who began his successful managerial career as a youth coach in Australia, won five trophies with Juventus over the past three years, following his groundbreaking spell at Arsenal, with whom he claimed the 2018 League Cup and the Women's Super League the following year.

"I'm extremely honoured to be part of such an exceptional organisation as Olympique Lyonnais, the world leader in women's soccer," Montemurro said.

"When I think of Lyon, I think of high-level professionalism and excellence. Playing against this team has always represented the pinnacle of soccer for me. It has always brought me joy and inspiration."

The Aussie coach, who was back home last month overseeing an A-League Women All Stars team against his old club Arsenal, has a hard act to follow in Bompastor, who was associated with Lyon as player and coach for 18 years and annexed seven trophies in her three years in charge of the club.

Lyon have won the French league 17 times in the last 18 seasons, making another national club title the minimum requirement for Montemurro, who has really been brought on board to get them back on top in Europe after losing to Barcelona in last month's Champions League final.

He will be hoping for the sort of instant spectacular impact he made with Juventus when he won the 'treble' of Italian championship, Italian Cup, and Italian Super Cup in his first season.

Montemurro is the seventh coach in Lyon's history and comes into the club at an exciting time after they were taken over by Korean-American businesswoman Michele Kang a year ago.

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