Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro Reading Women v Arsenal Women, WSL football match, Adams Park Stadium, High Wycombe, UK - 08 Dec 2019 Photo: Alan Walter for The FA

Arsenal boss Montemurro could hand debut to teenage defender against Gillingham

Arsenal head coach Joe Montemurro says that he hopes to give minutes to teenage defender Teyah Goldie against Gillingham this weekend.

The 16-year-old has been named amongst the Arsenal substitutes for the club’s recent fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur and Bristol City but she is yet to make her senior debut for the club.

The Gunners are expected to record a victory against FA Women’s National League South club Gillingham this weekend in their Vitality Women’s FA Cup fourth round tie. With some senior players having endured a busy period of international football, Arsenal boss Montemurro has admitted that he could hand a debut to youngster Goldie, although his hands are tied when it comes to calling upon some of the club’s other talented youngsters.

“Because of The FA’s COVID restrictions, we had to do things quite early (in terms of squad selection),” Montemurro told FAWSL Full-Time when speaking in his pre-match press conference. “We couldn’t call up academy players, we probably would have liked to at the last minute but we weren’t able to do that as I think that the cut-off was towards the end of March.

“We did call up Teyah Goldie who has been on the teamsheet for a couple of games and we hope to give Teyah some minutes at the weekend.”

Montemurro admits that he knows little about the threat that this weekend’s opponents pose but he believes that they could go defensive and try to restrain Arsenal.

“We have seen some evidence that they play with five at the back, he said. “Whether that’s five that sit there or whether that’s a middle three that stay and the wide areas progress, we will just have to wait and see.

“To be honest, the first 10-15 minutes will determine what they are going to do and then we will just have to find the solution from there.

“We have come up against all different scenarios in the WSL and one of the things that we have been able to instil in this team is their ability to adapt to situations.”

In his three-and-a-half years with Arsenal, Montemurro has never won the Vitality Women’s FA Cup. His side were defeated 3-1 by Chelsea in the final at Wembley in 2018 and while that day ended in disappointment, the Australian coach still looks back on the experience favourably.

“I think that the feeling and the emotion of leading the team out at Wembley in-front of over 40,000 people is something that is imprinted in my memory,” he said. “I can’t thank anyone enough for the memory that is created.

“It was an amazing day. Obviously, the result didn’t go our way but just to be a part of that and the feeling that I am getting now remembering those moments will be imprinted for the rest of my life.”

Arsenal’s Vitality Women’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Gillingham is scheduled to kick-off at 2pm on Sunday afternoon and will be available for fans to watch live on and via the Arsenal App.

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