Football 2 years ago

Gombau quits as Adelaide United coach

  • Gombau quits as Adelaide United coach

Adelaide United have split with coach Josep Gombau and appointed Barcelona legend Guillermo Amor as his successor.

Gombau had two years remaining on his A-League contract with Adelaide but has been released on compassionate grounds as he seeks a move closer to his family.

The Spaniard is set to start his own private youth academy in New York City.

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"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."

Former Barcelona youth team coach Gombau's arrival at the start of the 2013-14 season, after a stint as coach of Hong Kong side Kitchee FC, kicked off the start of a new era for Adelaide that should transition seamlessly into the next one.

Battling through an early teething period, Gombau successfully implemented a new playing style inspired by Barcelona's possession-heavy approach.

Gombau guided Adelaide to the inaugural FFA Cup title last year - the club's first piece of silverware since the 2005-06 Premier's plate - but also won a place in the hearts of A-League fans with his charisma and often unguarded passion for the game.

His Spanish connections helped bring Amor to the club last year, with the 37-cap Spanish national team midfielder having served as United's technical director since August.

Amor, who represented Barcelona more than 400 times, vowed to continue the work started by Gombau.

"Josep is a very dear friend of mine, and he, and the club, have placed their trust in me through a difficult time," Amor said.

"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."

Gombau will continue as Adelaide coach until August 1, when Amor will officially take the reins.

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