Gombau focused on Olyroos not an A-League return

Josep Gombau has quashed speculation of an A-League return, insisting he has no intention of leaving his role as Australia’s under-23 coach.

Gomabu

Australia under-23 manager Josep Gombau Source: Getty Images

Gombau has been linked with A-League coaching roles with both Melbourne City and the Newcastle Jets, after he came back to Australia to take on the Olyroos’ position last year.

But the Spaniard has denied he is set for a move back to the A-League.

“Everybody is asking me, because I am linked a lot to jobs,” he told The World Game.

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“But I am working here, I am happy. Nobody is speaking to me. I want to try and do well in the qualifiers. It was a good time in Adelaide, I enjoyed it a lot. Now I have this challenge and I enjoy this challenge.

“I am enjoying it [being with the Olyroos], it’s a good challenge to make these young players play good football and also help them develop.”

Gombau will hold a training camp with the under-23s next week in preparation for the AFC U-23 Championships China 2018 Qualifiers in July in Myanmar.

Twenty one of the 24 players selected for the camp are A-League based, and Gombau will use it to decide the final make-up of his squad for July.

Australia needs to either win its group or be of the one of the best five second-placed teams to book its place in China next year. The Under-23s will take on Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar in Yangon.

The Olyroos have not qualified for an Olympics since 2008, while the Young Socceroos and Joeys failed to qualify for the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups this year.

Despite Australia’s recent failures at youth level, Gombau said he is not feeling under pressure.

“I don’t feel this pressure, I feel we can do a good job,” he said.

“I have good players and we are bringing a lot of young players through in the A-League. [But] it is not easy because every single country in Asia prepares very well for these tournaments.

“The difficulties we have here, sometimes because our league is not on in the same time as Asia so we cannot have the players so much. For example with myself I started this job in August.



“It’s been nine months, well eight months and a half, and I’ve had the players for three days. Then in Spain I had the players, not the same ones, for a week. I will go into preparing this campaign with having 10 days time.

“This is because clubs don’t allow players to come, it’s not FIFA window dates and the A-League doesn’t stop for games. It’s very difficult, it’s not an easy job.

“I don’t want to use it as an excuse because it is what it is, we need to adapt to this and have every single FIFA window a camp.”


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3 min read
Published 5 May 2017 at 9:35am
By John Davidson