Katie McCabe reflects on career-changing moment under ex-Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro and joy at playing at the EmiratesMay 4, 2022
KATIE McCABE saluted former Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro for believing in her as a rookie.
The winger, 26, whose title chasers host Tottenham tonight, has shone under current manager Jonas Eidevall since his arrival last June.
But Republic of Ireland star McCabe is indebted to Aussie Montemurro for giving her a shot when she considered leaving, following a loan spell at Glasgow City in 2017.
The Gunners ace, who moved from Shelbourne in 2015, said: "I was coming into a team of legends.
"Kelly Smith was playing. We had Casey Stoney, Fara Williams and Alex Scott, so it was going to be tough to get games.
“An opportunity came for me to go on loan, and I jumped at it. Leaving the way I did, I thought after that I’d have to move on.
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“But when I came back in late 2017, our former manager Pedro Losa had left, and Joe had come in.
“Joe really liked me, the club offered me a contract extension and the rest is history.
“I’m very grateful I got that chance from Joe at the time. I learned so much and I owe him for believing in me.”
Victory for Arsenal at the Emirates tonight would put them a point behind leaders Chelsea going into the final game of the season.
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McCabe hopes they can repeat their 2019 away win over Spurs, which had a record WSL crowd of 38,262.
She added: "What an occasion that was, playing in front of so many at Tottenham’s new stadium. It was a lot sweeter as we won.
"Playing at the Emirates with the pitch, the atmosphere, the fans, it's got a real Arsenal feel to it.
“Hopefully, we can create a good atmosphere and get the three points.”
Off the pitch McCabe played an instrumental role in helping her national side attain equal pay with their male counterparts.
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The Republic of Ireland women’s captain and men’s skipper Seamus Coleman were involved in discussions with their nation’s FA.
The talks saw them negotiate an historic equal pay agreement.
The arrangement paved the way for both teams to receive the same match fees.
And McCabe believes that players should use their platforms to bring about progressive change with the women’s game.
The trajectory of the women's game is only going one way. It's up to us as players to use our platform to try and influence more positive change
The Arsenal star said: “It was about parity more than anything and making sure we were getting equal opportunities along with our male counterparts.
"It's also about having the same facilities and same structures so that we can excel in our game.
“We're seeing countries and associations really get behind their nations and on the male and female side of things which is great to see.
“But this is just the start. The trajectory of the women's game is only going one way.
"It's up to us as players to use our platform to try and influence more positive change."
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