Sydney Olympic has announced its new head coach and technical director is 45-year-old Spanish-born Gorka Etxeberria. Following the recent departure of Portuguese coach Jamie Monroy, Olympic has again appointed a European-born coach from the Iberian Peninsula.
Gorka has over 25 years of coaching experience as head coach, assistant coach and technical director at clubs such as Real Zaragoza, Deportivo Alaves, UD Salamanca, Club de Portugal, Al Khaleej, as well as being a football analyst on Spanish television coverage of worldwide football. He also holds the highest football qualification available, a UEFA Pro Diploma Licence through the Spanish Football Federation.
In a media statement, the club says the appointment of Etxeberria shows that, “Sydney Olympic is leading the way in the NPL with Etxeberria’s exceptional experience and knowledge sure to prove invaluable to the club. His appointment in a full-time capacity demonstrates Olympic’s investment in creating a professional football environment for players and coaches to excel.”
“Gorka has spent several weeks with the club learning more about our football program and gaining a better understanding of Sydney Olympic and is very excited to get involved with the club at such an exciting time of change and progression.”
In an interview on the Olympic Facebook page, the new coach Etxeberria said, “I’m very excited to be at Sydney Olympic, a club with such rich heritage and history. Sydney Olympic for me is a great club because it’s thinking of good coaches, of developing the program. It’s thinking of making football, not buying football.
“There’s a great philosophy in place at the club and a great pool of skilled and talented players to work with so I’m eager to help develop these players and assist the club in achieving excellence. The players are really professional and hungry to know and improve. They have a really good attitude.”
Club president Bill Papas expressed his enthusiasm with Gorka’s appointment and the value he will add to Sydney Olympic.
“As a club we remain committed to providing our players and coaches with an optimal learning and development environment and the appointment of Gorka is a big step in demonstrating this commitment,” he said.
“He comes with tremendous experience, 25 years’ worth, with teams that are household names. In terms of pedigree, he’s second to none and his character is a perfect fit for the club. We’re delighted to have him on board.”
CEO John Boulous is eager to see the positive impact Gorka will have not only on the senior men’s programme, “but the entire club as we continue to move forward with our philosophy.”
“We are looking forward to Gorka imparting his knowledge and experience for the remainder of the 2017 season and beyond,” said Boulous.
“As first grade coach and technical director he will support the ongoing development of both our coaches and players to reach their potential.
“We are very appreciative of the effort and commitment shown by Peter Zorbas and our coaching and support staff all season, but in particular over the last few months while undertaking the interim head coach role. We look forward to all our coaches working closely with Gorka, continuing their development and building on what has been a great start of the season.”