By Bradley Stead
Huddersfield Town has confirmed the appointment of Carlos Corberán as their new Head Coach, after the sacking of Danny and Nicky Cowley last weekend.
Born in Valencia, Corberán has built up a good reputation in football for being a highly talented coach with an incredible work ethic. He has worked primarily as an academy coach, before going on to be an assistant head coach for Saudi Arabian teams Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr.
Corberán’s only previous experience as a Head Coach came during a spell in Cyprus at Doxa Katokopia and then Ermis Aradippou during the 2016/17 season.
At the start of the 2017/18 season, he joined Leeds United as Head Coach of their Under 23s.
After the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road, Corberán also became part of the first-team coaching staff, while continuing his role with the Under 23s, winning the Professional Development League (PDL) Northern League as well as becoming National PDL Champions.
The following summer, Corberán was approached by Spanish side Cultural Leonesa to become their Head Coach but turned the offer down to remain at Leeds, where they have gone on to be promoted to the Premier League as champions of the Championship.
The Under 23s played in a similar, high pressing, high intensity, attacking style as the first team, so that the young players could learn to play specific roles within Bielsa’s system in case they were needed for the first team. This has seen Bielsa make extensive use of the Under 23s, giving minutes to players such as Leif Davies, Oliver Casey, Robbie Gotts, Pascal Struijk, Jordan Stevens, Ian Poveda, Jamie Shackleton and, Mateusz Bogusz.
Before Leeds’ final game against Charlton, Bielsa was asked about Corberán’s impending appointment at Huddersfield and humbly paid tribute to all his coaching staff, saying “Each of them made a bigger contribution than me for the team to grow”.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani said, “I know how much Carlos works and I think now it’s also good that he can make his own way and start a new journey to build himself as a first-team coach.”
Huddersfield’s Head of Football Operations, Leigh Bromby, said, “Carlos was our ideal candidate for our new Head Coach from the outset, as his idea of football is completely aligned with ours. He is very strong on the need for a team to have a strength of identity on the pitch; a way of playing that leaves players in no doubt on their roles when they step foot onto the grass. He believes in high energy, high intensity, attacking styles of play.”
The fans and the board will be hoping that Corberán can implement a style similar to the one that has taken Leeds to the championship title and the Premier League. That style will not be completely identical, however, because, as Pep Guardiola said, “No one can imitate him (Bielsa) and that makes him so special.” The priority though will be to provide entertaining, winning football after what has been a disappointing two years at the John Smith’s Stadium. Many people in football will no doubt be keeping a close eye on how Corberán gets on in the upcoming season.
Corberán’s coaching team will be announced in due course.