Continuing the revolution started by popular coach Josep Gombau, Adelaide United have agreed to spend $30 million on a state-of-the-art academy specifically targeting terrible goalkeepers.
According to documents filed with Adelaide City Council on May 12th, the notorious Hindley Street night-club district – up until now the best place in Adelaide to catch something – will be bulldozed to make way for what has been tentatively titled “The Josep Gombau Academy For Shit Goalkeepers”. Scheduled to be completion in 2017, the academy will sport two full-sized football fields, 6 half-sized fields, two gyms and several experimental football cannons designed to push goalkeepers to their limit.
An Adelaide United spokeswoman said the academy will help build the exposure of the club and put Adelaide on the map. “Since Josep Gombau’s run-in with Val Migliaccio last season over the quality of his son’s goalkeeping ability, Josep has pushed hard for Adelaide to open an academy dedicated to shit goalkeepers. We’re extremely grateful to Adelaide City Council for giving us the chance to rehabilitate and mold goalkeepers down on skill, luck or confidence. In fact, it’s part of the academy’s motto: “Shit today, a keeper tomorrow”.
Gombau’s tenure at Adelaide United has been marked by several hot-headed exchanges with the media, building the Spaniard’s aura as a tough customer; the final approval to set up the academy only came after Gombau was reportedly overheard telling the Adelaide United board to ‘harden up’ during a heated conversation halfway through the 2013/14 A-League season. “If you don’t see this, then you don’t understand football, honestly,” Gombau was also heard to remark as he threatened to storm out of the club if his demands weren’t met.
For shit goalkeepers across Australia, this news has been met with excitement as their dreams of not being disappointments to their friends, family and team-mates is destined to come true. 16-year-old Bailey Onhandig from North Lakes, Queensland told FMF he is relishing the opportunity to resurrect his budding career, and hopes he will be noticed by Adelaide United or other A-League clubs in the years to come.
“I first knew I was a shit goalkeeper when I was 12, but it took me until I was 15 before I was ready to admit it to my team and my family. My parents told me after I announced it that they’d always known I was awful, but didn’t want to say anything to me about it. I think they were waiting for me to feel like I was ready to talk about it, and I am so grateful to them for their patience and understanding as I fully come to terms with how bad I really am.
“I’m excited to get the chance to improve my goalkeeping, and who knows, maybe even sit on the bench for an A-League club one day.”
Bailey and dozens of similarly dreadful goalkeepers around the country have been offered scholarships at the academy, which has pulled off a major coup by recruiting as its inaugural Head Coach one the most widely-respected goalkeepers in Australia, Matthew Nash. Adelaide United is hoping Nash’s years of experience at several A-League clubs will prove invaluable in the task of rebuilding shattered careers.
“Matthew is very excited about his role as Head Coach. He has somewhat of a reputation as being merely a ‘back-up’ or injury cover goalkeeper, which we feel is an unfair reflection of his true abilities. We’re confident he will enjoy the opportunity to help sub-par goalkeepers reach their full potential – especially ones from the A-League.”