Western Sydney Wanderers boss Josep Gombau is set to take charge in his first Sydney Derby at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The match - while never short on significance - marks another step in what he hopes will be a wide-scale revolution and implementation of a holistic approach to football, based on the ideas he learned during his time as an academy coach at La Liga giants Barcelona.
We caught up with Gombau for the latest edition of 'Extra Time' series, beginning with his initial life-changing invitation to join the Blaugrana.
“It was something very big in my life. I went there and really after that, I started to think that this is what I want to be,” Gombau told a-league.com.au.
“I always say that to be part of Barcelona is like you are at the best university of the world in football. I learnt, the methodology, the philosophy, the ideas and these are things I will have all my life.
“They work from the youth to the first squad the same. This is what makes them successful, not so many clubs in the world have this clear philosophy.
“Barcelona have their own methodology their own philosophy that everybody follows and this makes them special.”
And if Gombau has his way, it’s an approach that will soon be embraced by Western Sydney.
“This is the plan we have, what we want to do, we want to play the same way from the first squad to the academy,” he explained.
“It is an exciting time and for this reason I came here. I am so proud that the Wanderers put me at the top of this project.
“I work very hard. I want to say to the people, be patient, because it is something that cannot happen in a few days, but for sure in the near future they will be proud of our job.”
First, however, comes his debut Sydney Derby at ANZ Stadium.
The 41-year-old is just as excited by the chance to deliver the club’s supporters more immediate satisfaction.
“I was at the last derby, in the stands watching the game and it was amazing,” he said.
“It looks like a very big game in Europe. To be a part of these is something that is very, very good.
“We will work very hard to bring this win to our side and celebrate with our fans.”
And while Gombau has plenty of grand plans for Wanderers, his prediction for Saturday night’s showpiece clash is extremely simple: “we will win.”
This story was originally published at: www.a-league.com.au/news/exclusive-gombau-bringing-his-barcelona-beliefs-western-sydney-wanderers