From coffee shop to Kenilworth Road: Gomez thrilled to be coaching again with Luton
It's been quite the journey for Town's new first team coach Joaquin Gomez after his arrival at Kenilworth Road last week.
The 30-year-old began life in Spain, where he was of the youngest men in the UEFA Pro Licence coaching qualification at the age of 24.
Gomez was assistant manager at fifth-tier club CP Parla Escuclua in Madrid, before heading to England to work in a coffee shop, until Brighton & Hove Albion came calling.
He worked his way up at the Amex, from the academy youth development coach to become performance coach in 2013 and then first team coach when Sami Hyypia took over, working with Nathan Jones.
He moved to Derby County as head of tactical analysis, with Town paying a compensation fee to bring Gomez to Luton where he was delighted to be back on the grass and taking training sessions once more at Ely Way.
Speaking after one such exercise, he said: “This is what I love doing, this is what I prepare myself to do and I’m really happy and really thankful to the club and Nathan that he’s brought me in.
“It’s been a different side of things for me at Derby, I’ve enjoyed it there I’ve learned a lot from the coaches and managers and professionals at a big club like Derby.
“But I never lost the sight of coaching and tried to keep it up, have a session every now and again, so I’m really happy to get back to coach.
“I’m going to do anything I can to help the team and Nathan, Paul (Hart) and the staff.
“There’s a great team around the place and you can feel it, I think the players will feel that as well.
“I’ll do whatever I can on the pitch and off the pitch as well to help the team to be successful, that’s what we want.”
On how his career path saw him end in Bedfordshire, Gomez continued: “I used to play, but I wasn’t good enough to get a career out of it and I thought coaching was my passion and that’s what I wanted to do.
“I went to university, got my qualification, tried to get experience wherever I could do. There were a few of us, we were very young to get our qualification, we got placements at Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and some other clubs.
“I coached for a couple of different academies down there before I decided to come over to England and a different football culture and progress in my career.
“The first thing you’ve got to do is to learn the language as you need to get by, to be able to stay here, so I did what I had to do.
“I had a lot of different jobs in Spain as well, as it’s difficult to get by just by coaching, so my dad always told me that, you need to work, and what you have to do, you do it.
“I never stopped coaching, was helping here and there, down in Brighton and Sussex and Brighton were very good to me because they valued what I was doing.
“I progressed through the academy and got to the first team with Oscar (Garcia), Sami (Hyypia), Chris (Hughton) and Nathan, and that’s what opened the gates to me for first team football.
“It was a good opportunity for me to go to Derby as well, going to work alongside a great professional in Paul Clement and then how things panned out at the end, ending up working alongside Darren (Wassall), and this month I had with Nigel (Pearson) and Chris (Powell).
“It was unbelievable, the experience you get just from being there every day in and around the club, it makes you progress.”
It was working with Jones at Brighton though that the two forged a good working relationship, as Gomez said: “I’ve been very impressed, I know how Nathan works, I think he knows me very well and he knows that I’m a football coach and that’s all I want to do.
“He said I could help the team and help him to add something to the team and when he gave me the call I was really happy and couldn’t say no.
“You’ve seen Nathan and you know him well enough now to see how passionate he is, how he loves his job and how he wants to transfer that into the pitch and the players.
“Everything that we want to do is with intensity because we want to be better every day.
“It doesn’t matter if we lose or we win, there will be things that we can improve and Nathan has got the frame for that.”
With the club looking to move into different training facilities by the end of the year, plus plans in place for the new ground at Power Court, Gomez knows it’s an exciting time to be joining Luton.
He added: “It was part of the conversation I had with Nathan, this is a club that wants to go forward and progress.
“Nathan is a very good manager, he wants to see the club progress as well. So I’m really looking forward to see how things develop and we will do what we can on the pitch with what the club is doing for us off the pitch.”