The Adelaide United Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Josep Gombau as the club’s Head Coach for the next two Hyundai A-League seasons.
Spanish born Gombau will commence his tenure in mid July once he has fulfilled his commitments with his current club, reigning Hong Kong First Division Champions Kitchee.
Gombau beat a quality field of applicants from Australia and abroad to lead Adelaide United into an exciting phase of its future.
In his four seasons at the helm of Kitchee, the 36 year old has an outstanding record in the Hong Kong First Division having won two Championships, a Hong Kong Challenge Shield, the Hong Kong FA Cup and the Hong Kong League Cup.
Further to this silverware, Gombau was named Coach of the Year two years running, was elected Head Coach of the Hong Kong All-Star team while he also guiding Kitchee to the Round of 16 in the AFC Cup two years in succession.
Gombau’s education as a coach began with various youth teams in Spain including CF Amposta and RCE Espanyol, which led to him gaining a role as an academy coach at arguably the world’s leading youth development club, FC Barcelona, in 2003.
He spent the next six years working as an Academy Coach at the Catalan giants working alongside and with some of Barcelona’s best players and coaching staff that has gone on to either play or coach in the senior team.
This employment with FC Barcelona included stints as a Technical Director of the Catalonia Clubs Division as well as being the Technical Director of the FCBEscola in Barcelona, Dubai and Hong Kong.
Gombau holds the highest coaching license possible in Spain with the equivalent of the UEFA Pro Diploma attained at the Football Catalonia Federation.
Adelaide United Football Club General Manager of Football Operations Michael Petrillo said the club was delighted to secure Gombau’s services.
“What we looked for in a coach was the ability to implement a football philosophy which is first and foremost successful,” Petrillo said.
“The by-products of the philosophy also need to produce a style that is entertaining and relevant to the modern game – a style that the players will understand and embrace as theirs. Josep has a wealth of experience within what has arguably been the best club in world football for the last decade.”
“What is more important is that he has been able to successfully implement his own version of the football philosophy, methodology and developmental pathways at work at FC Barcelona as a Senior Coach of Kitchee in Hong Kong.
He’s young in terms of his age but experienced in terms of his coaching development. Josep also has the experience to implement the changes needed throughout the whole football department in the future including the youth team and player development. He’s a young and ambitious Coach and has agreed to take the next step into a bigger league and we’re confident he is the right person for the role.”
Petrillo was also keen to highlight that the Club Board had embraced the change of strategic direction in the way it approaches football decisions moving forward.
“It’s vital that the club has a longer term view of its football strategy and that it accepts the need to implement a club centred football philosophy which will allow it to have a definitive, recognisable playing style which can produce on field success in the first instance and then bring off field success in the future,” Petrillo said.
“It drives future recruitment and development policy that is then in line with the club’s playing style as well as coach succession planning which is related to the football philosophy.”
On his imminent move to Australia to take charge of the Reds, Gombau said, “I want to come to Adelaide because Australia has one of the most successful leagues in Asia at this moment and I want to enjoy this experience in the A-League because I think football in Australia is growing and it would be a pleasure for me to come to this club.”
“I see it as a very good chance to grow in my coaching and I hope me and the club and that together we can make something nice by becoming champions in the A-League.”
Gombau will arrive in Adelaide with his current assistant Pau Marti, who will also join the Reds’ coaching staff along with current Assistant Coach Michael Valkanis.
“Josep was very keen to have Pau with him and the Board accepted that his role is also crucial in the implementation of the football philosophy and methodology through both the senior and youth teams at the club, and we’re delighted to have Pau join the coaching staff,” Petrillo said.
Marti is also a holder of the highest Coaching qualification in Spain as a ‘Nivel III’ License holder.