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Latest Spaniard in the Mix — Delhi Dynamos Coach Josep Gombau Aims to Change Club's Fortunes

Dynamos have finished in the top 4 twice but are yet to make it to the final of the league. Last season, the club had an awful start, losing six of the first seven matches and despite ending with a six-game unbeaten run, they finished 8th in the league. But Dynamos were one of the more entertaining sides to watch in the league and Gombau has promised more of the same in the coming season.

Arjit Dabas | News18 Sports

Updated:September 13, 2018, 10:14 AM IST
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Latest Spaniard in the Mix — Delhi Dynamos Coach Josep Gombau Aims to Change Club's Fortunes
Delhi Dynamos coach Josep Gombau at a training session in pre-season (Image: Josep Gombau)
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Delhi Dynamos have turned to Spanish coach Josep Gombau as the capital based club looks to reverse their fortunes in the Indian Super League. Interestingly, five out of the ten clubs currently have a Spanish coach at helm but none have managed to win the league yet.

Dynamos have finished in the top 4 twice but are yet to make it to the final of the league. Last season, the club had an awful start, losing six of the first seven matches and despite ending with a six-game unbeaten run, they finished 8th in the league. But Dynamos were one of the more entertaining sides to watch in the league and Gombau has promised more of the same in the coming season.

"I saw the team play last season and it is very similar to what I like. Obviously there will be changes but I like the passing style that Dynamos played last season. We just need to stop the gaps and make sure there is equal balance on all parts of the field when we step out," Gombau said, talking to News18 Sports about the coming season.

Gombau is the latest in long line of Spanish coaches who have descended upon the ISL and it was another Spaniard - FC Goa's manager Sergio Lobera - who played a role in convincing him to come to try his hand in the league.

"I've worked for quite some time in Asia so when the ISL opportunity came to me, I was quite excited about it. A lot of Spanish players & coaches have been a part of the ISL so I've heard great things about the league and the country. My friend Sergio Lobera who is the coach of Goa also told me positive things about the league and that it is very competitive as well so I want to see how things work out here," he said.

Gombau started his coaching career as a 16-year-old and was signed by Barcelona in 2003 as a youth academy coach. Talking about the role of the youth academy, he added that it is important that teams from all age-groups play a similar style of football, so that the transition is smoother.

"We have promoted some players from the academy to the first team from last season and they have really impressed me in the pre-season so far. Plus we have Fran who was the head coach of the academy teams from last season come on as a member of the staff of the senior team this year so he has great knowledge about the players in the setup as well. Obviously we want the players in all age groups play the same style of football because then that makes the progression from each group to the other smooth and easy,"

The 42-year-old also added that key for any player making the jump from youth academy to first team is self-believe along with training and discipline.

"We have seen how young players dominated the World Cup. It's not about how old or young you are. To all the young players I want to say that belief is the most important factor and follow that up with great hard work in training every day along with great discipline. These three factors are the most important things for any young player to make it big," he said.

He added that Indian players will have a key role to play if the team is to have a successful season.

"The young Indian players really impressed me in the side and I am really excited to work with them. I've had a few training session with the players and I can say that it is a determined squad that really wants to achieve success.

"I don't like taking individual names because all players are equal for me. The Indian players are the key in the ISL because the whole league is built around them and the league is for them to get better. The players we have want to achieve more and that is the best thing about them," the coach added.

Dynamos have so far failed to attract the crowd in big numbers and the coach did issue a rallying cry to the fans, asking them to support the team in the coming season.

"Home atmosphere is very important for any side and we hope that the fans come out to support us in good and bad times. It is good for the players as well to have the crowd backing. I met the fans in Delhi when I came for the first time and they are an enthusiastic bunch who really like the team and I hope they can be our 12th man in the stadium," he said, signing off.
| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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