Arsenal goalkeeper Stenson insists boss Montemurro is ‘very supportive’ in her progression

Fran Stenson of Arsenal during Arsenal Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women, Friendly Match Football at

Fran Stenson of Arsenal during Arsenal Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women, Friendly Match Football at Meadow Park on 25th August 2019 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Fran Stenson says Joe Montemurro has been “very supportive” of her as she signed a new long term contract at Arsenal.

The goalkeeper who arrived from Manchester City in August 2019 told “Last season I was always going to go on loan and I think this season was always about knuckling down and trying to get my games with the first team”.

Stenson spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Blackburn Rovers winning the clubs young player of the year.

She went on to praise manager Joe Montemurro saying: “Joe’ been really supportive and approachable. I think we both worked together and came to the conclusion that I’d stay at the club this season to hopefully get some gametime.

“I think it was really important, especially at the time of my career as well. Having regular gametime was good and although it was cut short, it was really good and they’ve helped me in so many different ways, I will always be thankful for that so I wish them the best in the future.

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“I’m really looking to knuckle down and keep working hard.

“I’m really looking forward to what the future holds hopefully I can get some gametime,It’s about working hard and seeing what the future has to bring.”

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Stenson is competing with Manuela Zinsberger and Lydia Williams for the number one spot but she says she is “loving every minute of her Arsenal journey”.

“I’m really pleased and happy to have committed my future to the club,” Stenson said.

“I’ve always wanted to play for Arsenal so to sign a new contract is a dream come true,I’m just really happy to have cemented my future.

“I feel like I’m learning day in, day out because I’m working with some of the best players in the world. I’ve been really lucky with that and I feel that has just improved me on and off the pitch. I’m really thankful for that.”

Joe Montemurro heaped praise on the keeper as he said: “These are big signings and important signings for us. We believe Fran is probably going to be one of the best goalkeepers in England for the national team.

“Obviously she’s an important part of Arsenal’s process going forward with the way she plays. It’s exciting that a player of development, a player of that level has committed herself to Arsenal. We’re privileged to be able to be part of her development, to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“To be in and among the top professionals that we’ve got, to learn from them and to be working with our staff, to know that every day she’s got to come in and keep the standards high, I think is important for her continuity and her growth.

“We’ve seen a real accelerated development from her perspective and also the work goalkeeping coach Leanne Hall’s doing with her is important as well.

“Part of the process in our goalkeeping ranks was to bring in important role models. Manuela is on her way to becoming a top keeper she’s a younger goalkeeper than Lydia but to have Lydia amongst us is important.

“She’s a seasoned professional that has played at the highest level for many years.

“I think it gives her the full package in the holistic develop she needs, in terms of off the pitch and on the pitch. It’s about learning how to prepare herself but also the importance of setting the standards very high and keeping the standards high.

“I think the environment is perfect for her and no doubt we’ll see that growth over the next few months.

“The loan to Blackburn Rovers worked perfectly for us.

“We targeted her and understood that it was important that she played, it was important that she was getting minutes but also training with us.

“We were able to give her the stimulus, the high level of training that we felt she needed, but then she was also able to get 90 minutes on the weekend.

“With that, I need to thank Blackburn because they adhered to everything we requested. It was invaluable that she played and also important that she got the training stimulus in preparation for coming in full-time with us this year.

“It’s very, very difficult first of all to recruit a goalkeeper of this calibre and to keep her in the ranks. They are obviously pleading for gametime and probably sometimes go to other situations where they’re guaranteed gametime but I have to credit Fran in understanding where she’s at and where she wants to be.”

“We’ve put a proper succession plan in place for her over the next two years or 18 months, which will see that growth happen in the right way. That’s exciting and I give all credit to her maturity and her decision in wanting to be part of that process.”

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