Gombau ecstatic with stylish Aussie U-23s’ display


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.

Aussies qualify for 2018 AFC U-23 Championships

Australia U-23s tops group after Myanmar win

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.


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.”


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.