Arsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro has opened the door to the possibility of succeeding Phil Neville as England manager, saying it would be “an amazing privilege” to take on the role.
It has already been confirmed that Neville will leave his post in July 2021, when his current contract with the FA expires.
The Lionesses are set to lose their head coach just before the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo, with Neville’s contract initially supposed to end after the 2021 UEFA Women’s Euros in England.
That tournament has now been pushed back to 2022, and the 50-year-old Australian Montemurro has been touted as a leading candidate to lead England into it.
“I don’t know whether there would be a serious approach — there are some amazing local coaches that probably deserve an opportunity before me,” Montemurro admitted to the Evening Standard.
“If I were to be asked, it would be an amazing honour. To have the privilege of taking a great nation with some great players — a nation that will be challenging for World Cups and Euros and the top tournaments — would be an incredible honour.”
Montemurro took charge of Arsenal early in the 2017-18 season, following the sacking of Pedro Martinez Losa.
Since then, he has won the FA Women’s Super League and the Continental Cup, as well as reaching the FA Cup final in 2018 and twice finishing runner-up in the Continental Cup.
“I’m very happy at Arsenal. I’m loving what I’m doing and it’s always very difficult to think of something that’s not there, but it would be an amazing privilege,” he added.
“I was shocked [and] a little bit confused as to why there hasn’t been a real push to keep [Neville] there and extend his contract, at least until the Euros.
“I really think Phil has been doing a great job. What I’ve really liked is that he’s looked at a whole group of new players coming through.
“He’s built some fantastic foundations. What I get from the players at Arsenal, coming back from [the England] camp, is that there’s a real identity and a real love for playing for the national team.
“They all come back with a great enthusiasm for representing their country. I think he’s been able to instil a culture, but more importantly the way they play is really exciting.”