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Josep Gombau departs Adelaide United

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FIA Sports Management would like to announce the mutual termination of the contract of Adelaide United head coach Josep Gombau.

Josep Gombau was contracted to the club until the end of the 2016/17 season, however, following a request from Josep to be released from his contract due to family reasons the Club has reluctantly, on compassionate grounds acceded to his request.

The Spaniard will leave his mark on this club, through football but also through his character and relationship with the players, fans and staff.

“It was a very hard decision, one that I thought about a lot and one that’s probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my life, but for family reasons I need to leave,” said Gombau.

“The last two years at the club has been such an amazing time, one I will always cherish. Together, as a club, we developed a brand and style of football that the people enjoy, along with a trophy for the club, and with that I am satisfied.”

Gombau became head coach of Adelaide United at the start of the 2013/14 season, after a successful managerial period at Kitchee SC in Hong Kong’s Premier League. He had previously coached at, Barcelona’s youth academy.

Since his appointment, Gombau has implemented a new philosophy and style of football which has now become synonymous with the Reds and has done so with a strong contingent of South Australian born players.

Gombau has rejuvenated the careers of many Adelaide United players and has nurtured and developed the abilities of each individual he has coached.

In the two full seasons that he has been in charge, Gombau has also revolutionised the Club’s football philosophy and transformed its culture.

His passion, commitment, and love for the game didn’t go unnoticed by the wider A-League community, being voted head-coach of the A-League All Stars squad that faced Juventus FC last year, coming very close to causing an upset win over the Italian giants.

Gombau also brought home the Club’s first piece of silverware in ten years, winning the inaugural FFA Cup in December 2014.

Through his close connections with Spanish football officials, Gombau has also been instrumental in establishing strong relationships between the Club and Spain’s Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP). This has helped Adelaide United attract the attention of the LFP World Challenge with games against Málaga CF and Villarreal CF.

Together, the Club and Gombau have decided and strongly believe that current Technical Director, Guillermo Amor, is the best person to continue the philosophy and culture implemented by Gombau since he arrived at the Club.

Gombau’s successor, Amor, a former FC Barcelona legend playing as a midfielder for the Spanish giants, steps into the role after being appointed as the Club’s Technical Director in August 2014.


Adelaide United CEO Michael Petrillo’s letter to Josep Gombau.

Dear Josep,

When I realised that there wasn’t anything else we could do to keep you here it saddened me immensely.

In the two years you have spent here you have helped establish a real club football philosophy and culture which can now endure and be built upon. You have provided so much enjoyment to our fans and ignited in some and reignited in others the passion for our club.

You took a big gamble just as we did and since then have worked hard to establish what was only a discussion and a theory two years ago into a reality.

Despite the sentiment and personal feelings even a CEO needs to take a moment to reflect.

Not much more than 24 hours have passed since the announcement and we have re-booted the project, it must continue on its path. The club will commence its new season shortly and will soon start its defence of the FFA Cup in Darwin, as well as later in the season play-off for a Champions League spot.

All three competitions will bring their own challenges without you here. However our club has a coaching team that is immersed in our philosophy now, they are extremely hard-working and talented, and with the ambition and determination to achieve its objectives.

The Adelaide United Football Club will commence the campaign with a squad of professional, very talented and ambitious footballers who we are sure will give everything they have for the new coach and continue with fervour on the path that we started two years ago.

Josep, you have been a part of the new history of Adelaide United and I know that wherever you are and whatever you do there will always be a special place for “The Reds” in your heart. I am sure that upon hearing of any successes we may enjoy in the future it will always bring a smile to your face.

Guillermo, Blaza, Pau, Micky, Kingy and I, together with all the players, the Board and the staff, will continue to work diligently, tirelessly with ardour and without wavering from the objectives put into place two years ago, because that is no less than the Adelaide United Football Club and the legion of Reds fans deserve. 

Everyone who works at this club knows they must work towards establishing a great tradition with everything we do and in every moment we are at this great club.  

Josep, “vale”, goodbye for now and thank you for everything you have done.

Come on you reds…

Michael Petrillo


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