Josep Gombau pleased after Australia U-23s win opener

Australia's U-23's came away with a 2-0 win over Brunei Darussalam at the AFC U-23 Championship China 2018 Qualifiers.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 

Aidan Ormond @AidotheFFAEd
Coach Josep Gombau was satisfied with a 2-0 win over Brunei Darussalam in Australia’s opening AFC U-23 Championship China 2018 Qualifier in Myanmar overnight.

On target for the green and gold were Adelaide United recruit George Blackwood in the 53rd minute, before Club Brugge-bound Riley McGree completed the scoring in the 85th with a good solo effort.


“I think that was a good game for us. I am happy with the performance from the team.

“We had a lot of chances and we should have scored more.

“Maybe the result is short for the opportunities we had to score. To win a game you only need to score one more goal than the opposition. Two goals more than the opposition is enough to win.”

Josep Gombau has named his squad for the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers.SINGAPORE NEXT UP

Australia next face Singapore on 21 July and then the host nation, Myanmar, on 23 July.

To qualify for next year’s AFC U-23 Championship in January, Australia needs to top its group or be one of the best five second placed teams of the ten qualifying groups.

“What’s important is not what happens in January, but what happens in the next two games,” added Gombau.


Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Gombau names squad for AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers

Josep Gombau has named his squad for the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers.

Sunday, 16 July 2017 

Staff Writer
Australian U-23’s National Team Head Coach Josep Gombau has selected his 23-player squad that will compete at the AFC U-23 Championship China 2018 Qualifiers to be held this week in Myanmar.

After a week-long pre-tournament camp in Sydney, which featured two training matches against the Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Central Coast Mariners, Gombau reduced his squad from 26 to 23 players before heading to Myanmar yesterday.

Australia’s first match will be against Brunei Darussalam on 19 July, followed by Singapore on 21 July and then the host nation, Myanmar, on 23 July.

To qualify for next year’s AFC U-23 Championship, Australia needs to top its group or be one of the best five second placed teams of the ten qualifying groups.

Australian Under 23’s National Team Squad for AFC U-23 CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 Qualifiers
First Name
Melbourne City FC
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Adelaide United FC
Central Coast Mariners FC
Brisbane Roar FC
Newcastle Jets FC
Newcastle Jets FC
Melbourne Victory FC
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Tottenham Hotspur, England
Adelaide United FC
Newcastle Jets FC
Melbourne City FC
NEC, Netherlands
Adelaide United FC
Melbourne Victory FC
Morecambe FC, England
Adelaide United FC
Eintracht Braunschweig, Germany
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Melbourne City FC
Perth Glory FC
Group F
Venue: Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Josep Gombau: ‘My U-23s will play like the Socceroos

Coach Josep Gombau says this week’s Australian U-23 training camp is crucial for getting his philosophy across, vowing to replicate the Caltex Socceroos’ playing style with his Olyroos.

In his first chance to work with the U-23 squad since his appointment last year, Gombau has been casting his eye over 26 of the best from the Hyundai A-League on the Central Coast this week.

He’ll conduct another camp in March in Europe which will only involve overseas-based players.

The qualifiers for next January’s AFC U-23 Asian Cup in China will be held in July, making every camp vital for Gombau to bring his ideas to the squad.

“The most important thing after this camp is the players will know exactly what we want to do,” Gombau told

“They are all good players and we put them together to get to know each other and to get them to know what I want, put [forward] our philosophy, our system and our style.

“It always is important to qualify [for these tournaments]. We must take this step,” the Spaniard said.

“This competition we are playing in Asia and every single tournament in Asia that is an official tournament we need to be there, especially as one of the best countries in Asia.

“It’s our dream that we can be there and we need to work hard. And do that at every stage, not just U-23 but U-17, 20, we must be there all the time.”

Most of the players in the squad this week are playing regularly in the Hyundai A-League, with many regular starters with their clubs.

The likes of Jonathan Aspropotamitis (Wanderers), Bruce Kamau (City), Ben Garuccio (Reds), Lachlan Jackson, Nick Cowburn both (Jets), Paul Izzo, Trent Buhagiar (both Mariners) and Brandon Wilson (Glory) have started most games for their respective sides.

Wanderers defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis tackles City forward Bruce Kamau when their sides met in Round 14 of the Hyundai A-League.What’s more, Ruon Tongyik, Devante Clut, Lachlan Scott, Jordan O’Doherty, Jaushua Sotirio and Adam Berry, among others, are also making good progress in the A-League.

The next step for the former Barcelona youth coach is getting the squad ready to play the type of football he wants.

“We have a very clear idea of what we want. As a team we have a playing system and style that is the same as the Socceroos,” Gombau said.

“The way we want to play is to have the ball, to play beautiful football, to play football where we attack and where the people who see us inside the stadium and on TV enjoy and be proud of the work that we are doing.

“For sure [the players] will enjoy and they will follow.  As a player you always want to have the ball, to be the owner of the game and play attacking football.

“When you have the ball normally you don’t feel tired and you want to play. When you don’t have the ball it makes everything more difficult.

“Our desire is to have the ball and play attacking football.”

Asked how much he’s been relishing his role in the Australian national set-up since his appointment in June, Gombau said: “I’m enjoying a lot.

“It’s a totally different role because you work more in the office than on the field.

“The job is to watch games, to watch players and see which players can fit in your system. I’ve enjoyed being in all the camps [with the] Socceroos in their qualifiers and just learning the philosophy.

“Now I have the first camp, I’m so happy and confident also that we will do a good job.”


Football Federation Australia

Football Federation Australia names 26 players for Australian U23 training camp

Wanderers defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis tackles City forward Bruce Kamau when their sides met in Round 14 of the Hyundai A-League.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Staff writer
Josep Gombau has today named a 26-man Australian U23 squad for a three-day training camp, which will be held on the Central Coast, NSW from 30 January to 1 February.

The camp is the first part of preparation for the 2018 AFC U23 Asian Cup, which will stage its qualifiers in July 2017.

The squad is made up of players eligible for the 2018 AFC U23 Asian Cup and all 26 players are from Hyundai A-League clubs.

A second camp will be held in March in Europe and only involve overseas-based players unless agreed with any individual club for locally based players.

This camp and qualification for the 2018 AFC U23 Asian Cup is viewed as an important part of the development of the next generation of Socceroos by the National Team coaching staff, led by Coach Ange Postecoglou.

Hyundai A-League clubs were informed of the details of the camp last week and players were selected following the conclusion of the Round 16 Hyundai A-League matches over the weekend.

Players will arrive in Gosford in time to start training on Monday morning (30 January) and released from camp following training on Wednesday, meaning minimal disruption to the Hyundai A-League.

“This is the first step for us to qualify for the U23 Asian Cup in 2018,” Gombau said. “I’m excited to be working with these young players who are only one step away from playing with the Socceroos.

“Many of them are playing good football in the Hyundai A-League and we will be able to see them working together to start building the understanding required to succeed in the Asian Cup qualifiers and also observe how they train in the systems we want to play.

“Qualifying for Asian Cups and World Cups is an important part of the development of young players and for football in Australia and this camp is our first preparation opportunity leading into the July qualifiers.”

The Australian U23 team will take part in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in July 2017 as they strive to qualify for the2018 AFC U23 Asian Cup, which takes place in China in January 2018.

Izzo, GallowayAustralian U23 squad for the three-day camp 


Club, Country

Daniel ARZANI Melbourne City FC
Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Keanu BACCUS Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Adam BERRY Central Coast Mariners
George BLACKWOOD Sydney FC
Trent BUHAGIAR Central Coast Mariners
Devante CLUT Newcastle Jets
Nicholas COWBURN Newcastle Jets
Scott GALLOWAY Central Coast Mariners
Benjamin GARUCCIO Adelaide United
Paul IZZO Central Coast Mariners
Lachlan JACKSON Newcastle Jets
Bruce KAMAU Melbourne City FC
Abraham MAJOK Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Daniel MARGUSH Adelaide United
Riley McGREE Adelaide United
Jordan O’DOHERTY Adelaide United
Liam ROSE Central Coast Mariners
Kye ROWLES Brisbane Roar FC
Lachlan SCOTT Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Mario SHABOW Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Jaushua SOTIRIO Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Jordan THURTELL Perth Glory
Ruon TONGYIK Melbourne City FC
Brandon WILSON Perth Glory
Liam YOULLEY Western Sydney Wanderers FC

Head Coach: Josep Gombau

Assistant Coach: Ufuk Talay

Goalkeeper Coach: Peter Blazincic


Football Federation Australia 

Josep Gombau: Olyroos must win in style

The Olyroos starting XI for their Group D match against Vietnam at the AFC U-23 Championship earlier this year.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

John Greco @Grecs7
New Olyroos boss Josep Gombau says just qualifying for the Olympics won’t be enough under his watch, declaring Australia’s youngsters must do it playing good football.

On Tuesday, Gombau was unveiled as the man to lead Australia’s under-23 team to the Tokyo Games in 2020, taking over the role vacated by Aurelio Vidmar in March.


The Spaniard, who made a big impact at Adelaide United during his time in the Hyundai A-League, has a strong background working with young players, including at the academy of Barcelona.

After recent failed stints in qualifying for the Olympics, making the next Games in four years is paramount for Gombau but he’s adamant it must be done the right way.

“I’m so happy to have this position. My aim is to qualify for the Olympics and make sure we do it playing good football,” he declared.

“I like working with young players. When I came to Adelaide we started using a lot of young players.

“I’m very comfortable working with young players and I like to have this challenge that we have in our hands to try and develop these players to not only one day play for the Socceroos, but also take the biggest step that’s possible in their careers and also qualify for the Olympics.”

“My aim is to do a good job here and in these four years get the Olyroos to the Olympics and make an impact [with our] football. That’s my dream.”

Gombau loves being on the training pitch everyday with his players and admits it will be difficult not being able to do that in this role in the national set-up.

“We need to find a way [to make it work], it’s not just about being on the field training,” the 40-year-old said.


“It’s my job to be close to them, my job to see every single game, my job to speak to them after every game and try and improve every single player in our youth system.

“Because if every single player improves, the quality of the team improve also.”

Gombau, who cut ties with Adelaide United at the end of the 2015 season, feels he is a much better coach now than the one who left Australia 12 months ago.

In that time he has held an academy coaching position in New York as well as head of David Villa’s DV7 soccer academy.

“I’m coming with a fresh mentality and with a lot of ideas I want to put in place,” he said.

“I think Olyroos, the Under-20s, Socceroos, we are on the same page, we are the same organisation and we have to work together.


“We need to play the same kind of football, have the same philosophy and do the same in the training sessions.

“[But] at this moment I’m aiming to come, learn the staff, work with Ange [Postecoglou] and make as much of an influence as I can.”


Football Federation Australia

Josep Gombau: Ange Postecoglou key in my Olyroos decision

Josep Gombau has been appointed the new Olyroos boss.

Monday, 27 June 2016

John Greco @Grecs7
Josep Gombau says a chat with Ange Postecoglou and the opportunity to work with the Caltex Socceroos coach convinced him to become the new boss of the Olyroos.

Speaking on Tuesday after it was announced the Spaniard would take charge of the Olyroos up until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Gombau was excited about his “new project” in Australia.

And it’s working with Postecoglou that most excites the Spaniard and was a major factor in his decision to return to Australia after leaving Hyundai A-League club Adelaide United last year.


“I spoke with Ange it sounded like a big challenge. I’ve never had a job like this and this is a country that treated me so well,” Gombau told reporters on Tuesday from his base in New York.


“I spoke with Ange it sounded like a big challenge. I’ve never had a job like this and this is a country that treated me so well,” Gombau told reporters on Tuesday from his base in New York.  “Ange thinks I’m right for the job and believes I can be involved in this project. “To work with someone like Ange, for me it’s perfect. I’m so proud that he sees myself to be part of his staff.” As part of the 40-year-old’s brief, he will also assist Paul Okon with the Australian under-20 squad as well as join Postecoglou’s coaching staff. Gombau, a former Barcelona youth coach who has also coached in Hong Kong as well as Australia, says he has a lot of ideas he wants to implement in Australia’s youth system but wants to share them with the Socceroos boss before revealing more.

He feels he has a similar football philosophy to Postecoglou which he hopes will make the transition to his new role as seamless as possible. “I think it’s the same, very close. I’m a coach that sometimes prefer to play well than to win,” Gombau said. “I think Ange has found the right balance to play good football and also be competitive. “I like this kind of football, the only way that I know how to play is to try to have the ball, try to play offensive football, to try and be the owners of the game and to try and make it enjoyable for the people that come to watch. “I also want try to improve the players for their careers and make the step to the Socceroos.”

Football Federation Australia

Josep Gombau has resigned as Adelaide United boss

Adelaide United have announced the mutual termination of the contract of head coach Josep Gombau, with the club’s current Technical Director Guillermo Amor to take over the reins.

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’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.

During his playing career, Guillermo who played more than 500 games for FC Barcelona and was capped 37 times for Spain during the 1990s, highlights include representing his country during the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 1996. He also played for Italy’s Fiorentina in the Serie A as well as Villareal in Spain.

Guillermo was Pep Guardiola’s partner in midfield during his successful playing career at Barcelona as well as being a mentor to the now Bayern Munich coach.

And while he was mainly involved in the day-to-day activities of the Barcelona youth, he was still able to experience the glory of the Xavi, Iniesta and Messi era when Barcelona won three consecutive La Liga titles and a Champions League trophy.

“For me, to accept this position is a very important decision to make. For anyone who loves and lives for football and has dedicated their life to it for so many years like me, when you get this chance it’s a true cause for joy,” said Amor.

“Josep is a very dear friend of mine, and he, and the Club, have placed their trust in me through a difficult time. This trust means a lot to me and I am very excited and very eager to get to work, but above everything I want to enjoy and succeed.

“Myself, along with the rest of the staff, will give everything to allow this team to continue its growth and I think there’s still a lot of growth that can happen.

“My message for the fans is to remain confident in the team, as they have done so far. Support the team as you have been doing with Josep in every game and keep the good atmosphere that prevails throughout the city, because I believe if that happens things can become much easier.”

Gombau will finish his time as Head Coach at the end of the month, with Amor officially commencing on the 1st August 2015.

Football Federation Australia

Adelaide United close to signing new striker: Josep Gombau

Josep Gombau says Adelaide United is close to securing a striker.

Adelaide United are set to sign a new striker to fill the gap left by the departing Awer Mabil and Miguel Palanca, says coach Josep Gombau.

With Mabil’s move to Denmark confirmed yesterday and Palanca not remaining at the club following a one-season stay last term, the Reds are short of option up front.

Although Gombau did claim they are near to sealing an attacking reinforcement.


“We are close to an agreement with a player who plays up front, but this separate from the Awer situation,” he said.

As for who will replace the livewire Young Socceroos winger, the Adelaide coach has no intention of rushing the recruitment process, while backing another pacy youngster in Bruce Kamau to step up and plug the gap.

“It’s not quickly or not,” he said when asked how long it will be until the Mabil vacancy is filled.

“It’s to find the player we want. We have an idea. Now we need to speak with the player and the club and try to find an agreement.

“We don’t want to [rush] and bring the player we don’t really want. We have also Bruce Kamau, that is a player in this year, for me, will have a good role and can do the job.”

Gombau says he denied Mabil an Adelaide United farewell against Liverpool over injury concerns ahead of his transfer to FC Midtjylland.

The 19-year-old forward is set to join the Danish club for an undisclosed fee reported to be an Hyundai A-League record.

But there was no fairy-tale goodbye in the 2-0 loss to the Premier League heavyweights at the Adelaide Oval on Monday night for fear of a freak injury scuppering the move at the last minute.

“Today, to play Awer is risky, because if something happened like an injury, he could lose this contract,” Gombau said.

“In this moment we used our common sense not to play him. I would have liked Awer to play in this kind of game because it’s a good day for him to say bye-bye to everybody.”

Football Federation Australia

Josep Gombau: Liverpool can create Hyundai A-League converts

Liverpool players celebrate James Milner's second half goal against Brisbane Roar.

Josep Gombau hopes Adelaide United’s exhibition match against Premier League giants Liverpool will lead to more fans supporting his team in Hyundai A-League action.

South Australia’s Reds, the Westfield FFA Cup holders, take on their English counterparts at what is set to be a packed Adelaide Oval on Monday night.

Suncorp Stadium was close to capacity for Brisbane Roar’s 2-1 defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ men on Friday, while the historic Merseyside outfit also drew a huge crowd to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory in 2013.

The majority of fans at both of those venues appeared to be supporting the visitors from the UK ahead of their local club and that’s likely to be the case again for the next match of the tour.

Spanish giants Real Madrid meanwhile drew over than 10,000 people to an open training session at the MCG last week, more than attend many regular season A-League fixtures.

It’s undeniable evidence that Europe’s heavyweight clubs, despite increasing the regularity of their visits Down Under in recent years, remain a novelty and a bigger drawcard, at least for some, than the local game.

Nevertheless, Gombau believes a good performance from his players against the likes of James Milner and Adam Lallana could boost the numbers coming to Coopers Stadium in 2015-16.

“We have this responsibility, we need to … try and play strong, try to do a good game for the people that come to see this come of game,” he told Goal Australia.

“Hopefully if they like (it) they will come back to the stadium to us playing in the A-League.”

Although fitness remains the primary focus for both Liverpool and Adelaide this early in pre-season, Gombau knows such an historic occasion merits a special effort from the hosts.

“We need to find a balance between physical (preparations) in pre-season but also try to … be competitive in front of our fans,” he said.

“It’s a friendly game, yes, but in the history of football in Adelaide, there will never have been more people in a stadium for a football game, our football.”

Adelaide tuned up for the Liverpool clash with a 2-0 loss to Manchester City on the Gold Coast last week.


Opposition manager Manuel Pellegrini made a series of substitutions throughout the contest at Cbus Super Stadium where, despite their disjointed line-up, the likes of Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany proved too good for Gombau’s men.

“We did well,” he said.

“We played good football. We have a squad with some quality players. It was an equal game. I am satisfied with the way the team played. It was a good test to prepare for the big game that is coming on Monday.”


And while they came out on the losing side in Queensland, Gombau is backing his troops to spring a surprise and send Adelaide’s fans home with a smile on their faces.

“The English Premier League is one of the strongest leagues in the world. It’s football. Everybody can beat everybody. A lot of times the team that is smaller can beat the bigger team. This is our challenge. We need to enjoy, because you never know when you will play again against one of these big teams. For sure we will have a chance.”

Football Federation Australia

Josep Gombau lauds match-winner Sérgio Cirio

Adelaide United press conference

Josep Gombau lauded the performance of match-winner Sergio Cirio in the Westfield FFA Cup Final.

Victorious Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau paid rich tribute to match-winner Sergio Cirio, as a footballer and as a person, after the Spanish superstar steered the Reds to an historic, title-clinching 1-0 win over Perth Glory in Tuesday’s Westfield FFA Cup final at Coopers Stadium.
Cirio’s consistently sharp skills and movement from his right wing vexed the visitors’ defenders all evening, while his superb 67th-minute goal proved the difference.

Often touted as the A-League’s premier import, Cirio scored in all five of United’s Cup fixtures, finishing with a competition-best six goals in five games and was a deserved recipient of the inaugural Mark Viduka Medal as the final’s best player.

“I’ve known him for a long time,” Gombau said of his fellow Catalonian.

“I tried to sign him at my last club and bring him to Kitchee in Hong Kong, but I couldn’t.

“He’s always been a player I’ve liked because he can play in different positions. And as a person – he’s an excellent person.”

Adelaide generally bossed the contest despite Perth’s gallantry and resolve in defence.

The Glory were reduced to 10 men after Josh Risdon was sent off in the 58th minute for tugging Marcelo Carrusca’s shirt, the the young right back’s second booking of the night for an infringement on Carrusca.

This made the Reds’ job easier and Cirio pounced accordingly with a fine goal, but Adelaide’s path to the final was anything but a breeze, having to navigate past a quality field of Wellington Phoenix, Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners.

“We played against five A-League sides and won every single game,” Gombau said proudly.

“I think we deserved it (Cup).

“Perth is a very good squad and had a good game.

“They are on top of the A-League and don’t allow you to relax for a second.

“To win the first FFA cup is very important.”

Cirio agreed with his coach’s sentiments.

“This is the most important trophy I’ve won in my own career,” he said.

“I’m very happy because we got it in front of our supporters.

“As the coach said, we deserved this trophy because we played against (all) A-League teams.”

Gombau is a fan of the 32-team, FFA Cup knockout concept and believes its prestige will only advance in future tournaments in line with the growth he has noticed in the sport in Australia.

“The first year is like a trial,” he said.

“Next season for sure the clubs will take this very seriously.

“It’s a big trophy because it’s not just involving the A-League teams, but the leagues from every single state.

“We got more people (in the FFA Cup final) than in a league game.

“For sure it’s growing, not just the Cup, (but) football in Australia is growing a lot.”

Source : Football Federation Australia website