New Olyroos boss Josep Gombau says just qualifying for the Olympics won’t be enough under his watch, declaring Australia’s youngsters must do it playing good football.
On Tuesday, Gombau was unveiled as the man to lead Australia’s under-23 team to the Tokyo Games in 2020, taking over the role vacated by Aurelio Vidmar in March.
The Spaniard, who made a big impact at Adelaide United during his time in the Hyundai A-League, has a strong background working with young players, including at the academy of Barcelona.
After recent failed stints in qualifying for the Olympics, making the next Games in four years is paramount for Gombau but he’s adamant it must be done the right way.
“I'm so happy to have this position. My aim is to qualify for the Olympics and make sure we do it playing good football,” he declared.
“I like working with young players. When I came to Adelaide we started using a lot of young players.
“I’m very comfortable working with young players and I like to have this challenge that we have in our hands to try and develop these players to not only one day play for the Socceroos, but also take the biggest step that’s possible in their careers and also qualify for the Olympics.”
“My aim is to do a good job here and in these four years get the Olyroos to the Olympics and make an impact [with our] football. That’s my dream.”
Gombau loves being on the training pitch everyday with his players and admits it will be difficult not being able to do that in this role in the national set-up.
“We need to find a way [to make it work], it’s not just about being on the field training,” the 40-year-old said.
“It’s my job to be close to them, my job to see every single game, my job to speak to them after every game and try and improve every single player in our youth system.
“Because if every single player improves, the quality of the team improve also.”
Gombau, who cut ties with Adelaide United at the end of the 2015 season, feels he is a much better coach now than the one who left Australia 12 months ago.
In that time he has held an academy coaching position in New York as well as head of David Villa’s DV7 soccer academy.
“I’m coming with a fresh mentality and with a lot of ideas I want to put in place,” he said.
“I think Olyroos, the Under-20s, Socceroos, we are on the same page, we are the same organisation and we have to work together.
“We need to play the same kind of football, have the same philosophy and do the same in the training sessions.
“[But] at this moment I'm aiming to come, learn the staff, work with Ange [Postecoglou] and make as much of an influence as I can.”
Update to Young Socceroos squad for AFC U19 Championship
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed on Friday a change to the Young Socceroos squad that is competing at the 2018 AFC U19 Championship in Indonesia. Young Socceroos coach Ante Milicic has brought in Melbourne City FC’s Connor Metcalfe to replace Western Sydney Wa
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Awer Mabil will be among the Aussies taking Caltex Socceroos form back to the club grind as Aaron Mooy braces for a huge Premier League test this weekend. Meanwhile, there's a match not to be missed in Scotland that's set to showcase several of our overseas stars. Read on t
Milicic calls for fast start to AFC U-19 Championship campaign
Ante Milicic has urged his Young Socceroos side not to waste a second at the AFC U-19 Championship as they prepare to meet Korea Republic on Friday night. A tournament-opening victory for either nation in Indonesia could prove crucial to progressing from a tricky Group C that
Gallery: Caltex Socceroos camp in pictures
The Caltex Socceroos are looking ahead to November's twin matches in a positive mindframe after comfortably accounting for Kuwait 4-0 in a friendly earlier this week. Australia's impressive win came as reward for the hard work done during a Dubai training camp in the lead-up t