01/03/2024
Ben Cahn is getting straight to work at Brisbane Roar. PHOTO: Provided

Ben Cahn is getting straight to work at Brisbane Roar. PHOTO: Provided

Ben Cahn may be the fourth-youngest manager in A-League history, but joins the Roar with a résumé that would fill most other 35-year-old managers with envy.

Since moving to Australia when he was 21, the Englishman has worked with private academies, state development teams, A-League academy programs and most recently, NPL Queensland and Victoria senior men sides.

In his last head management role, he returned the Melbourne Knights to the NPL Victoria finals after a long absence and took them to an Australia Cup semi-final, coincidentally against the Brisbane Roar.

Without a life as a professional footballer, Cahn admits it’s an unorthodox route to management, but one that has given him the readiness he needs for his opportunity at A-League level.

“The age might be something externally looked at, but for me it’s not a factor and I’ve been ready for this for a long time,” he said.

“I’m about 15 years into this journey, so age really is irrelevant to me.

“[It’s] something I’ve worked hard for, for a long long time and have believed I’m ready for, for a long long time.

Whilst well aware of the difficulties that lay ahead of him, coming off the back of an 8-1 thrashing by Melbourne City, Cahn says he’s up for the task.

“Being a young coach from outside of the A-League, my chance was never going to come in easy conditions,” he said.

“It’s a challenge I’m willing to embrace, everywhere I’ve been I’ve embraced challenges and this one’s no different.”

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High possession, dominating football

Cahn admits that buzzwords like ‘attractive’ and ‘high possession’ seem to be default answers for coaches these days, but for him it’s not just for the visuals, he wants to win.

“I’m very, very passionate about delivering a playing style that dominates the game through possession, we’ll work exceptionally hard out of possession,” he said.

“But above that, it’s not an aesthetic thing, it’s because I believe that’s the best way to control a game and win games of football, and we’re here to win games of football.

“How quickly we can get there is yet to be seen, but we expect to play good football and entertaining football and we really want to dominate the game.”

Cahn was thrown straight into the deep end, with just over 12 hours after he officially accepted the job to plan his first training session on Tuesday morning.

He’s aware that his strategy will take time to ingrain in the squad, but says the first steps have been positive.

“I don’t know any other way and that’s to train the way I like to train and try to implement the playing style I like to play,” he said.

“We’ve set the direction very clearly, the expectations of how we want to play and what we want to do are there.

“What we need from the players now is that strength, that resilience and that belief to turn around what happened last week.”

Cahn and the Roar will have their first opportunity to test the new game plan on Saturday night, when they take on Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.

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