Football 2 years ago

Adelaide players hail coach Amor

  • Adelaide players hail coach Amor

    ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: United head coach Guillermo Amor looks on after winning the 2015/16 A-League Grand Final match between Adelaide United and the Western Sydney Wanderers at the Adelaide Oval on May 1, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

When Adelaide United were down in the dumps, their first-year coach Guillermo Amor never wavered.

"From when we were in a bad spell to now, his attitude has never changed," United's Craig Goodwin said after the Reds captured the A-League championship with a 3-1 grand final victory against Western Sydney on Sunday.

"He has always said the same message and that has been to believe in yourself and stick together. And obviously then the tactics come in to it"

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"Credit to him ... he has been fantastic for us. And as a coach, to win the double in your first season is something special."

Amor, a Barcelona great as a player, had never coached a senior team before being talked into taking over as Adelaide coach when Josep Gombau unexpectedly quit last July.

The Spaniard, who was brought to Adelaide initially as a consultant and then a technical director by his Barcelona mate Gombau, wasn't sure he wanted to coach.

But Adelaide hierarchy twisted his arm to take the role despite his initial reluctance.

Amor's initiation was harsh: Adelaide were winless and in last spot after eight rounds.

But the softly-spoken Spaniard believed the tide would turn. And so it did, in tidal wave form, as United went on a stunning streak which led to the title.

After round eight, Adelaide lost just once in 21 matches, culminating in Sunday's Adelaide Oval decider.

Adelaide captain Eugene Galekovic, asked to describe Amor's influence, opted for one word: "Massive."

"He's a champion of the game, isn't he," Galekovic said.

"He gained respect from the first minute he walked through the door because of what he has achieved."

Those achievements included 37 caps for Spain, including World Cup and European Championship appearances.

And 421 La Liga appearances for Barcelona which featured three Copa del Rey titles; five league championships, two Cup Winner's Cup titles and the 1992 Champions League Cup.

They're feats which led to instant admiration from Adelaide players, said striker Bruce Djite.

"Amor is probably the most experienced coach in terms of big games as a player," Djite said.

"Any other coach in the A-League can't say `Champions League, this is how we did it' or even tap into that experience, that knowledge that he has."

"To have him here, he took us to another level, there's no doubt about it because the trophies we've won now under him."

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