Adelaide United seem to recognise a good thing when they see one, securing the services of head coach Josep Gombau until 2017.
Having struggled to achieve managerial stability – and on-field success – since the departure of Aurelio Vidmar in 2010, the club have taken a big step in a new direction with the re-appointment of the Spaniard.
Gombau has fashioned the Reds from ugly duckling to the A-League’s most exciting unit — playing a possession-based game that has won rave reviews and packed stadiums.
After a slow start to the season with the Reds, the former FC Barcelona Youth Coach and Kitchee SC boss has silenced the doubters emphatically, guiding the Reds into the finals and orchestrating some of the most entertaining performances of any team this season.
Josep Gombau has won plenty of admirers among neutrals and is a firm favourite with the Adelaide fans, thanks in no small part to his animated touchline antics.
Having initially signed a two-year contract in 2013, the 37-year-old has now committed to Coopers Stadium until the end of 2016-17, with a record 3-year deal.
“To make this project work, we need time, and with this time we will be able to produce and achieve this style of football,” he said.
“I want to say thank you to the club and to the fans for having confidence in me”.
“This extension is also part of my players and I want to share this extension with them. I would also like to say thank you for the support to myself and my family, as we are very happy in Adelaide and are grateful to stay for another three years and also my agents FIA Sports Management who have worked very hard to bring me here to Adelaide and to make this new deal possible.”
Gombau’s popularity with fans was reflected in his appointment after a supporter vote as coach of the A-League All Stars team to face Juventus in August.
United chairman Greg Griffin said it was crucial to fend off Gombau’s many suitors and ensure stability at Hindmarsh.
“The club is delighted to secure the services of Josep and we look forward to three more years of growth and development,” said Griffin.
“We moved quickly as there had been a lot of interest in Josep…We see this as being integral to how this club operates.”
“This contract extension gives Josep and the club the opportunity to consolidate and build upon the work already undertaken this season. The entire playing squad and support staff have embraced the desire for Josep to extend his terms at the Adelaide United Football Club.”
Gombau has healed a club fractured by the tumultuous departures of predecessors Rini Coolen and John Kosmina.
While the Catalan claims his Adelaide side will start to play their best football next season, a victory in Saturday’s elimination final against reigning champions Central Coast Mariners could see the timescale for success dramatically revised.
FIA Sports Management would like to congratulate Josep Gombau and wish to thank the support of Michael Petrillo, Greg Griffen and Adelaide United board.