Spaniard Josep Gombau is the Reds' new coach, agreeing a two-year deal to join the A-League club from Hong Kong outfit Kitchee FC
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
UPDATE: Adelaide United have announced the appointment of Spaniard Josep Gombau as their new coach.
The Reds have handed the former Barcelona academy coach, 36, the job on a two-year deal ahead of Miron Bleiberg, Ernie Merrick and Phil Stubbins.
He is likely to finish the Hong Kong First Division season with Kitchee FC before assuming the role, with the club to play play an FA Cup match on May 11.
At Kitchee since 2009, Gombau has won consecutive Hong Kong First Division titles with the club and has also guided the club into the Round of 16 of the AFC Cup for the second-successive season.
The Catalan was also named the Hong Kong First Division's coach of the year twice.
"I want to come to Adelaide because Australia has one of the most successful leagues in Asia at this moment and I want to enjoy this experience in the A-League because I think football in Australia is growing and it would be a pleasure for me to come to this club," Gombau said via statement.
"I see it as a very good chance to grow in my coaching and I hope me and the club and that together we can make something nice by becoming champions in the A-League."
Gombau will become only the second foreign coach at the Reds, behind Dutchman Rini Coolen. He will retain Michael Valkanis - the A-League club's interim coach for the second half of the season - as his assistant.
Gombau will also bring current Kitchee assistant Pau Marti with him to join the Reds' staff.
"What we looked for in a coach was the ability to implement a football philosophy which is first and foremost successful," United general manager of football operations Michael Petrillo said.
"The by-products of the philosophy also need to produce a style that is entertaining and relevant to the modern game – a style that the players will understand and embrace as theirs. Josep has a wealth of experience within what has arguably been the best club in world football for the last decade.
"What is more important is that he has been able to successfully implement his own version of the football philosophy, methodology and developmental pathways at work at FC Barcelona as a senior coach of Kitchee in Hong Kong."
Gombau had revealed negotiations with Reds' hierarchy were at an advanced stage on Monday: "There are some details to go through, but I think we could finish the job in one or two days," he told TVB commentator Keyman Soho.
"I thank all the fans supporting me and Kitchee FC. Kitchee FC have done well, and your help is important."