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"The goal is to keep Juventus at the highest level in Italy, and much of this work has already been done in recent seasons. But we want to take a step forward in Europe. I want to convince the players to believe they can improve at an international level. This is one of the most important things.

“And of course I want to play good football, enjoyable football that wins games.”

This was how Joe Montemurro presented himself at Juventus in June, displaying a high degree of professionalism combined with the will to reach, and then maintain, the highest of standards, increasing the team’s ambition in line with the continued growth of the women's football movement in Italy and in Europe.

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Objectives he has achieved in full. Juventus Women have won the Italian Super Cup, have reached final of the Italian Cup and for the fifth consecutive year have been crowned Italian champions. The winning ticket has been his brand of proactive, aggressive football, based on ball possession. His effective, but never dogmatic, tactics have been adapted when necessary to the characteristics of the opponents, but first and foremost are primed for the various phases of each match.

The jewel in the crown of Montemurro's first season on the Juventus bench has undoubtedly been the adventure in Europe. A path that began in August with qualification to the group stage and surpassed expectations with passage to the knock-out phase after emerging from the intense competition in the shape of multiple Champions League winners Wolfsburg and last season’s European runners-up Chelsea. Exit came in the quarter-finals at the hands of Lyon, the team that has dominated the European scene in recent seasons. Juve exited with their heads high, losing 4-3 on aggregate after a historic 2-1 win in the first leg.

The 52-year-old tactician used his initial experience in his hometown with Melbourne’s two teams, Victory and City, as a springboard to further success in his four years at Arsenal, where he led the Londoners to a League Cup triumph as well as the Super League title. His knowledge of football has also been acquired from hours spent studying matches (not only women’s) on television and then trying to make some of the ideas his via training sessions before actually putting them into practice.

Behind the achievement of these objectives, there is not only study and application, technical and tactical knowledge, but also intelligence and passion have always played a decisive role.

This same passion that led Montemurro to choose Juve, the team he supported as a boy. In fact, his first steps as a footballer were with Brunswick Juventus, a team of Italian migrants in Melbourne inspired by the name and colours of the Old Lady, testifying to the strong sense of identity with his Italian origins.

Intelligence that has been directed above all in reinforcing the team’s mental strength. Yet, this act of instilling determination and conviction has been combined with the ability to take the pressure off the players at the most exacting moments.

All of which has been seasoned with that precious dose of irony, essential to convert the tension during the season’s most intense phases into something positive, conveying the pleasure and joy of competing at the highest level.

The pleasure of playing, the pleasure of winning, the pleasure of orchestrating success on the Juventus Women's bench.

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