ISL: Josep Gombau not to extend Odisha FC contract

The Spaniard is set to leave the ISL after two seasons in India…

Josep Gombau has opted not to extend his contract with Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Odisha FC, Goal can confirm.

The Spanish coach was brought in by Delhi Dynamos in 2018 before the team shifted bases to Bhubaneshwar and rechristened themselves as Odisha FC in 2019. However, the two-year association is all set to end ahead of the upcoming season.

Sources close to the development told Goal that the club preferred the former FC Barcelona youth coach to continue his project at Odisha FC. However, the 43-year-old decided to step away in pursuit of a fresh challenge.

Delhi Dynamos (in 2018-19) and Odisha FC (2019-20) were known to play a possession-based, eye-catching brand of football under Gombau. However, the one criticism he always had at the club was the lack of consistency in results and the fact that he could not mastermind results against the top teams in the league.

The club failed to reach the play-offs in both seasons. However, they looked set to make the top-four in the recently concluded season, only for injuries to key players and irregularities with their home venue to hinder their bid.

But Gombau always stuck to his philosophy of giving youngsters a chance to develop themselves and is widely credited for the development of talents like Nandhakumar Sekar, Shubham Sarangi, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Vinit Rai among others. 

The club were in favour of keeping their trust in Gombau for the upcoming season as well only for the Spaniard himself to call time on his India sojourn. It will be interesting to see who Odisha opt to take over from Gombau.

The question will be whether the club will want someone who can continue what Gombau started or will they opt for a fresh approach entirely.