Josep Gombau is delighted with how Australia's U-23s played in qualifying for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championships, and has given Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou a full report on the successful campaign.
The Australian under-23 coach has returned to Spain from Myanmar after his side secured qualification for January's 2018 AFC U-23 Championship in China.
Australia topped Group F without conceding a goal in three matches.
“I am very happy,” Gombau told www.socceroos.com.au from Spain on Thursday night.
“We did our job - we played good football.
“It's not so important whether you win or lose - it's the way you play and approach every single game.
“We went from less to more in terms of performance.
“In all the games, we were the team that dominated.
“We played our football - we were always playing from the back, always attacking, always trying to recover the ball as quickly as possible after we lost it and pressing high up the field,” he said.
TOUGH CONDITIONS IN MYANMAR
With a squad of largely Hyundai A-League players, Gombau oversaw comfortable victories over Brunei, Singapore and Myanmar.
The 3-0 win over their hosts which sealed Asian Cup qualification was particularly pleasing for the U-23 mentor.
“We played an away game that we had to win to qualify in front of 30,000 people supporting the local team in humidity we are not used to, and with pitch conditions not the best,” said Gombau.
“It was a big experience for the boys because it's not just football, it's a competition.
“They are young players and at this point in their lives, it's something that helps them grow as players.
“It's been a nice experience for all of us and all the players have learnt from it.
“I'm excited for the things which are coming now in January.”
NEXT GENERATION OF CALTEX SOCCEROOS
Gombau believes it won't be long before many of his young charges make the leap to the full Caltex Socceroos side.
And he revealed those discussions have already begun with Ange Postecoglou.
“I’ve had a long conversation with Ange,” he said.
“He followed the competition and saw the games.
“We discussed the team's performance and the players.
“We don't forget that the under-23's is the step below when players can become Socceroos.
“We spoke about individual players who in a short time or in the future can represent the Socceroos,” he said.
Former Socceroo Matt McKay to retire at season's end
Brisbane Roar skipper and 59-time Caltex Socceroo Matt McKay has decided the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season will be his last, bringing to an end his 18-year professional journey. McKay confirmed his retirement on Thursday, bringing down the curtain on a glittering career for
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton in danger of relegation after Cardiff defeat
Maty Ryan’s Brighton & Hove Albion are perilously close to the relegation zone in the English Premier League after slumping to a 2-0 defeat at home against Cardiff City on Wednesday morning (AEST). There was little the Caltex Socceroos gloveman could do to keep out a goal in e
The Green & Gold gift for Mooy fan that went viral
The story of young American girl Bella’s passion for Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy made headlines at the start of this month when Mooy’s club, Huddersfield Town, kindly invited her and her Father to England to watch the Terriers play Leicester City in the Premier League. Be
Maty Ryan set for Brighton's huge Premier League tie with Cardiff City
Caltex Socceroos star Mathew Ryan is set to play in arguably the most important match of Brighton & Hove Albion’s English Premier League season to date, against Cardiff City on Wednesday morning (AEST). Ryan, 27, can help his team take a huge step away from the relegation zone