Gale Linked To Guangzhou, But Has Long-Term Valour Aspirations
Valour FC head coach Rob Gale has found himself thrust into the middle of speculation regarding a potential move to Chinese Super League side Guangzhou FC, where his brother-in-law John Peacock was recently announced as the Chief European Supervisor at the academy level.
A recent rumour has suggested that the CSL side plans to hire the Valour boss as a youth coach, with a potential agreement already in place.
Gale, who is set to lead Winnipeg-based side Valour FC into its third-ever season, has told Northern Tribune that his only focus is with his club for the upcoming season. In terms of longer term aspirations, he mentioned that he hopes to have five more years with Valour – especially given that he’s a single father in the midst of raising two daughters ‘who are both Winnipeggers’, one of whom is just about to begin highschool.
The rumours of a potential move to coach with the Chinese Super League side stems from a Football Manager researcher who indicated that Gale was set to join the club as a youth coach. From there, it didn’t take long for fans to discover that Gale had a concrete link with the side: his brother-in-law John Peacock, who has worked as a consultant for Manchester United, UEFA, FIFA, and even Valour FC itself.
Despite the link, Gale appears to suggest that while the two share ideas, it doesn’t look like he’s set to join Guangzhou FC as a youth coach following the upcoming season – though there was never an outright ‘no’.
I talk to my brother-in-law all the time, as he worked here with me at Valour. But, my only focus right now is Valour and the upcoming season. We discuss his soccer projects and he is always there to support mine.Rob Gale
Peacock’s own start in China has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Gale stating that he himself is still in Winnipeg as the head coach and general manager of Valour FC, where he is very much looking forward to representing his city in both the upcoming bubble and the third Canadian Premier League season as a whole.
The bubbled nature to the start of the season means that the 43-year-old head coach will be sequestered in a hotel in Winnipeg, unable to see his two daughters despite their proximity to IG Field – something he says is actually worse than when he travelled across the country to Prince Edward Island for last year’s bubble tournament.
The Valour FC head coach has ample experience teaching at the youth level: prior to his time in the CPL, he was appointed assistant coach of the Canada U-17 team in 2010 and helped the squad to two successive FIFA U-17 World Cup appearances. During that time he even competed against Peacock in 2011, who was leading the England U-17 national team at the time.
Gale’s time with Canada Soccer also saw him eventually coach for the U-16, U-18, and U-20 teams at various points, with the former technical director of the Manitoba Soccer Association evidently having accrued ample experience in regards to youth team coaching.
With Gale commenting that he hopes to have five more years at Valour, it’ll be interesting to see if anything develops after the conclusion of the 2021 Canadian Premier League season. His words suggest he’d like to stay in Winnipeg, though there wasn’t a concrete ‘I’ll be with Valour FC next year’ to be heard. To that end, the length of his contract with the Winnipeg-based side is unclear.
Gale has helmed Valour FC for all 37 of its matches, recording ten wins, six draws, and twenty-one losses. Last year saw the club come one match away from qualifying for the group stage at The Island Games, showing a remarkable improvement from the inaugural CPL season.
Gale has had assistant coach Damian Rocke beside him for each of his matches, with the Winnipeg-born staff member joining alongside goalkeeper coach Patrick Di Stefani in early 2019.
Valour FC recently announced a partnership with Chivas Guadjalara following the loan of Mexican defender Rodrigo Reyes. With 21 players currently rostered ahead of the upcoming season, Gale has room to bring in two additional domestic players before his squad reaches a league maximum roster size of 23.
Gale will begin his third season in charge of Valour FC with a match against reigning champions Forge FC on June 27, 2021 at IG Field.