Former FC Barcelona academy mentor Josep Gombau has been appointed as Head Coach by Adelaide United coach for the next two seasons.
The Spanish-born Gombau will begin with the Reds in July once his commitments with Hong Kong first division champions Kitchee SC are concluded with his current assistant Pau Marti who will be joining the coaching staff alongside current Reds assistant Michael Valkanis.
Josep Gombau was named Coach of the Year in the Hong Kong first division two years running, elected Head Coach of the Hong Kong All-Star team and also guided Kitchee to the Round of 16 in the AFC Cup two years in succession.
Amongst all this, he also won two Championships, a Hong Kong Challenge Shield, the Hong Kong FA Cup and the Hong Kong League Cup, all within the space of four years.
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 have 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.
Josep Gombau holds the highest Spanish coaching licence, the equivalent of the UEFA Pro Diploma attained at the Football Catalonia Federation.
“I want to come to Adelaide because Australia has one of the most successful leagues in Asia at this moment,” Gombau said.
“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 together can make something nice by becoming champions in the A-League.
Reds general manager of football operations Michael Petrillo said Josep Gombau was the ideal candidate to bring success to the club.
“Josep beat a quality field of applicants from Australia and abroad to lead Adelaide United into an exciting phase of its future.
“What we looked for in a coach was the ability to implement a football philosophy which is first and foremost successful” Petrillo said.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“Josep was very keen to have (new Reds assistant) Pau Marti 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.
Josep Gombau’s appointment means he is currently the only foreigner coaching a club in the A-League.
Val Migliaccio | © 2013 News Limited, Sky News, 442