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Arsenal's Montemurro opens up on Australian bushfires, confirms interest in Foord

03:14 GMT+4 16/01/2020
Joe Montemurro Arsenal 2019-20
The Gunners boss admits the blazes in his home country have been hard to see but he's heartened by the support that's been shown

Arsenal Women's coach Joe Montemurro has opened up on the Australian bushfires that have plagued his native country for the past several weeks. 

Montemurro grew up in Victoria, one of the states most badly affected by the recent blazes, prior to moving to north London in 2017 when he took over at the Gunners. 

Forced to watch the bushfire crisis from afar, Montemurro admits it's a situation he's become all to accustomed to as he praised the support that's been shown for those directly affected. 

"It is a tragic situation. It's something that having grown up in Australia, it's a commonplace every summer," Montemurro said.

"There's very little surface water and our fauna is very combustible. It's a situation where unfortunately communities are ripped apart.

"My heart goes out to all the people who have suffered from the situation. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about the people affected like the fire-fighters, the volunteers.

"The worldwide support that's been given is great and every little helps. It's just great to see everyone coming together to help.

"I haven’t had any personal experience, but they are very close to Melbourne. The air quality over there right now is abominable.

"I’m speaking to my family every day and there is a real struggle there at the moment. It’s really up to everyone to make sure we prevent these things going forward." 

Brighton's Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan recently donated AU $500 for every Premier League save that was made last weekend directly towards bushfire recovery efforts. 

Montemurro is set to face off against Matildas star Sam Kerr on Sunday when his Arsenal side take on Chelsea in the Super League.

While he's under no illussions about her quality, the Aussie manager declared he's not scared by the prospect.

Montemurro also confirmed his interest in signing an Australian star of his own at the Gunners, with attacker Caitlin Foord recently linked with a move to the club. 

"Caitlin Foord’s been a player of interest for a while. She’s a player that we are interested in and there’s a couple of other elements that we’re looking at also," he said.

"I don’t want want to speculate on things that aren’t happening or aren’t solid, but we are going to be bringing in some elements during the transfer window."