All Stars coach endorses Wollongong's A-League credentials

FOOTBALL

All Stars coach Josep Gombau. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

All Stars coach Josep Gombau. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

All Stars coach Josep Gombau believes Wollongong is perfectly suited for A-League expansion.

The Adelaide United boss has spent the past five days training at WIN Stadium with the All Stars squad and gave the Illawarra's top facility high praise on Monday.

He has made it no secret of his support for expansion of the competition and believes two more teams would be suitable for the A-League.

While he couldn't comment on the state of football in the region, the former Barcelona Youth Academy coach was adamant the facilities were up to standard.

"In terms of football honestly, I don't know a lot. I saw the game of the local team [the Wolves] but in terms of facilities for sure this area is ready to have A-League here ... this field is amazing," he said.

Gombau (pictured, inset) arrived in the Illawarra with the All Stars squad on Friday and has trained on WIN Stadium on several occasions in preparation for the team's clash with Juventus on August 10.

During that time the squad has also made countless community visits during a six-day visit to the region.

"We are so happy here. We want to say thanks for all the hospitality that we have received from the people," Gombau said.

"This field is perfect. I hope to have a field like this in Adelaide."

The All Stars will be able to put the surface at WIN Stadium to the ultimate test when they face the Young Socceroos at the venue on Tuesday.

"It is a good test for us," Gombau said.

"[On Monday] we worked tactically and [on Tuesday] we will work on that again. After that we get to see what happens after we work. If the players get this idea or not and it is important to have a game before."

Gombau hoped, albeit in a limited time frame, he could impart his footballing style and philosophy on the All Stars squad.

"I want to try and keep the ball. I want to try and play beautiful football, to attack and I want to try entertain the people who come to the stadium and watch the game," he said.

The All Stars welcomed the final and most high-profile member of their squad on Monday when Alessandro Del Piero joined his teammates in Wollongong.

"He is excited. He wants to have a good game because he is playing against his ex-team Juventus and he said to me that we need to try and win the game," Gombau said.

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