Kim Little penned a new deal to stay at Arsenal with a long-term contract and then paid tribute to Gunners boss Joe Montemurro for making her decision to commit to the club an easy one to make.
Arsenal skipper Little, a Scotland international, helped lead the north London outfit to the Women’s Super League title last season (the first crown in seven years). And she admits her ambition is matched by the club and that also made signing a new deal a no-brainer.
On the influence and philosophy of Montemurro, she told the club’s official website:
“Obviously Joe is a big part of that with his philosophy, and the way he is as a person and as a manager is something we as players are all appreciative of and grateful to be able to play under him.”
Little says Montemurro was a huge part of her decision to extend her deal and to be part of what he wants to do in the next few years in terms of where he wants to take the club, adding:
“Also, Arsenal is where I’ve spent the majority of my professional career so I’m just extremely proud and grateful to be here and to be able to be a part of that for longer.
“On the pitch and off it it’s great to be able to learn from Joe in terms of tactically, and from our assistant coach Aaron and our goalkeeping coach Leanne. It’s an area that can always develop and it never stops, which is another part of the game that I love.”
Now Little says she is ready to knuckle down and prepare properly for the new season ahead — with the focus on retaining the top-flight title and making an impact in the Champions League. She added:
“I’m ambitious and this club is too. Winning the league last year was the starting point for that and just where the women’s game is going in general I think we’re ready to go with that and hopefully retain our title of the league and be in the Champions League and progress in that. It’s a very exciting time to be involved with the club.”
It is the foray into European football once more that excites Little most, you could argue. On the adventure, she has spoken of the Champions League bringing “something extra” to the season:
“We’re so happy to be back in the Champions League this year and obviously we don’t know who we’re going to be playing yet in the last 32, but those midweek late night games under the floodlights just add a little bit more to the season, so hopefully we can be a strong contender and put ourselves in a place to progress in that tournament as well.”