ISL- Indian Super League

Odisha FC part ways with head coach Josep Gombau

M SudharshanM Sudharshan

March 11 2023
Josep Gombau Odisha FC part ways ISL 2022-23
(Courtesy : ISL Media)

The Spaniard managed the Juggernauts in two stints.

Odisha FC has decided to part ways with head coach Josep Gombau with immediate effect. The press release said, “The club has reached this decision based on its ambitions and the standards that have been set for the present and foreseeable future.”

The Juggernauts reached the playoffs for the first time this season, finishing inside the top-six. It was overall a good season for Odisha FC, with few players like Nandhakumar Sekar and Isak Vanlalruatfela showing great potential. The club might also be without a head coach for the Super Cup, scheduled to be held in April. However, the management has decided to field their reserve side for the competition and not the senior team.

Josep Gombau’s tenure at Odisha

This was Josep Gombau’s second stint at Odisha FC, having led the squad for two seasons from 2018 to 2020 (Delhi Dynamos and Odisha FC). In his first season, the club finished in the sixth spot, closely missing out on the playoffs. Both Gombau and the management decided to part ways mutually. The Juggernauts finished in the eleventh and seventh spots in the next two seasons and failed to reach the playoffs.

Josep Gombau was brought in ahead of this season. The Spaniard started the season on a positive note, topping the group stages of the Durand Cup. They did not concede a single goal in the entire group stage but lost to champions Bengaluru FC in the quarter-final. Odisha FC won six out of their first eight matches in the ISL and were placed in the top-two. However, they couldn’t capitalize on the good start and showed inconsistency in the second half of the league.

What next for Josep Gombau?

The Spaniard has good coaching experience, having trained Espanyol and Barcelona youth teams. He was also the assistant coach of the Australian national team for one year (2016-17). Before signing a two-year contract with Odisha FC last year, Gombau served as the head coach of Queensboro FC. He might probably head back to Spain and train lower-division clubs. 

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