Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Exclusive Interview with Adelaide United Coach Josep Gombau Part One

Ever since Josep Gombau arrived in Australia a little more than 12 months ago the charismatic former Barcelona youth coach has been capturing the attention of Australian football fans and media.

The Spaniard beat out more successful A-League coaches like Mike Mulvey and Tony Popovic to coach the Foxtel A League All Stars against Juventus. The All stars produced a quality display and Gombau passion and coaching style almost produced a shock result.

It's a sign of the Adelaide United boss's coaching prowess that he was chosen ahead of more established names even though the Reds didn't take any honours last season.

Gombau is one of the nicest guys in football and I was lucky he gave me so much of his time. He is very interested in growing the game here in Australia and imparting his wealth of football knowledge.

Gombau spent seven years working with the youth teams at FC Barcelona so with such a pedigree behind him Australian football has much to learn from the Spaniard.

So here is Part One of an exclusive interview I did with Josep Gombau not so long ago. Part of this interview first appeared on the Fox Sports website. Here is the link.

1) How would you describe your first season at Adelaide United?

I think that it was good for me because I come from Hong Kong to a new league a new country. Always a coach or a player needs time to adapt to this new league that his going to work.

I think that we make a big change of the way that the club was playing, the years before, we are now playing another style of football and it was not easy in the beginning and in the end we finish playing a good football and I think the people and fans will appreciate it and I am happy.

2) Australia is far away from Spain what made you decide to coach here?

I was in Hong Kong I was not far away I was in Asia. I like always travel and football, these are two of my passions, and if you can mix both and you can know new countries new cultures, have friends around the world and also you can work in what you like it’s a good way.

3) Tell us how hard it was to stamp your playing style and philosophy on Adelaide United? Looking in from the sidelines it looks like you have a close relationship with your players is that important as a coach?

Yes it was very difficult when you arrive to one place and you want to change all the things to play another style and you want to put in a new system of playing, you need to change a lot of things and this takes time.

I need to say thanks to all the players because everybody worked hard to arrive at this objective to play this beautiful football that I think that we played last season in the last games. 

And it’s true I’m very close to the players because everybody is in the same way with the same objective to play and to win to be close to them is something that I like.

I think my age helps in this because I am a young coach, and it’s easy for me to have a close relationship with them

4) What are the main differences between coaching in Spain and Australia?

I think there are a lot. In Spain the football is the main sport and everybody appreciates it and everybody knows exactly what you are doing. 

Here the football is not the main sport. And a lot of people don’t care a lot about football and with these things you can see facilities support and these things. 

But it is something you can see I think in Australia the football is growing and growing and every day we are more close to have this 

5) What do you think about the standard of the A-League?

For me it’s high and every year is more high.

For me last season was high and this year will be more high.

Today I’ve been speaking with some players from different teams everybody have a good squads good signing players that are coming to the A League and this is nice and also is a challenge for everybody because I think the A-League is growing and we are doing the right things.

6) How do you manage a young player so the pressure doesn't get to him?

Sometimes the coaches want that the young players to play like an experienced players and in the moment this is quite impossible when the player make a mistake the coach take off and put inside again

Also sometimes choosing the games that he can play. The game is in a bad moment or the game is losing or you are not having the position of the ball is not a games for the kids in that moment; it’s not to put the kids in the game in this moment.

7) Besides lots of pesos how does Australian football improve the quality of coaches and players in a technical sense? What can the A-league do to improve? What kind of things would like to see implemented?

I think there are a lot of things. For example the A-League has just 10 teams, in my point of view I would like if we have more teams also the number of games that we play, in strong league the teams play a minimum of 38 games, We are playing 27 plus the finals.

 These things are things that we can improve. There are a lot of things that are good, the stadiums, the media; a lot of people is following.

There are a lot of things that the A League for me is at a level of a European league. But then there are other things not enough teams not games enough for one season.

There is a big big break; there is four five months that the league stops and in these things we can improve.

8) Last season you conducted coaching clinics for local coaches in Adelaide, what was the idea behind that? 

My idea was that I love to see the kids, to coach kids.

In the beginning the first few days that I arrived, sometimes I was with my car and I stopped and I watched the kids training and I watch also the coaches training and I feel there is a lot of things without ball, a lot of physical stuff, things that for me is not so important.

Important for me are that the kids have the skills and for kids to have the skills they have to work with the ball.

The moment come to me why not try and share my knowledge that I have coaching kids with all the coaches that want to come to the clinics and we spoke in the club and the club agreed to this.

And we make this coaching course that was 12 weeks, and we showed all the kids what they need to work and improve their skills and this helped to show kids from South Australia can enjoy more from training and can learn more from training.

Also the coaches have more knowledge and also we make a book for everyone, showing the way that they need to do the training. So I am satisfied we do this.

( All photo's courtesy of Adelaide United)

Part Two to follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment