The Adelaide United Football Club would like to announce the mutual termination of the contract of head coach Josep Gombau, with the clubs’ 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 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.
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 the first player to progress through all the teams at Barcelona, from youth development to playing first team, and is regarded as one of the most important players in the entire history of FC Barcelona. Amor returned to Barcelona after completing his professional career and completing a UEFA Pro Licence, where he was appointed the Director of the Youth Academy while his good friend and former teammate Pep Guardiola was Barcelona’s head coach.
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.
Guillermo Amor, who will now become a household name for all Reds and football fans in Australia, has plans to make Adelaide United a powerhouse in the Hyundai A-League and the youth sector.
To have a legend of Barcelona football now the coach of Adelaide United highlights that the club is continuing to move in the right direction and to build on the philosophy already in place.