New Roar boss’ fascinating first press conference includes an inspiring Ange revelation

New coach Ben Cahn speaks to the media ahead of his first game in charge of the Roar at home to Sydney FC

New Brisbane Roar boss Ben Cahn has described the past few days as a “blur”, as he takes on the challenge of his first A-Leagues senior head coaching role.

Cahn was appointed Brisbane’s Isuzu UTE A-League head coach on Monday, after the club accelerated the process to bring in a successor to former boss Ross Aloisi following their 8-1 drubbing at the hands of Melbourne City.

Brisbane had initially held off bringing in a permanent successor to Aloisi until later this season, with Luciano Trani appointed interim boss for the remainder of the season, but the record defeat saw the Roar hierarchy shift gears quickly.

Cahn – who was the club’s Youth Technical Director – has long been linked with senior head coaching roles in the A-Leagues, after successful stints in the NPL with Olympic FC and most recently, Melbourne Knights, leading them to the Australia Cup semi finals last year.

On Wednesday, the Englishman faced the press for the first time since his appointment and detailed a hectic few days.

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“I’m massively honoured and very, very grateful to the club for backing me and giving me this opportunity. It’s all come so quickly, the last couple of days have been a real blur,” he said.

“You can probably hear in my voice, I’m a bit exhausted already, but of course, really excited. Something I’ve worked hard for a long, long time and have believed I’m ready for a long, long time.

“I’m in at the deep end and ready to get stuck in.

“It was just a phone call and a quick discussion and then I was sitting by the phone waiting and then that call came through.

“It was basically: ‘Right, we’re on. Let’s go. We train tomorrow’. So I think we found out 4 PM on Monday and training first thing Tuesday morning!”

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Cahn added: “It’s surreal… It’s extremely special.

“There were times where I’ve been in the stands at Suncorp watching Ange’s (Postecoglou) teams, and dreamt of being able to to lead Brisbane Roar and take them in another special direction.

“That phone call came and that opportunity is here and now I’m going to do everything I can to take it.”

As for how he celebrated getting the role?

“By packing up the house and driving down to Brisbane and planning the session for the next morning,” he said with a laugh.

“No time for celebration, unfortunately!”

The 35-year-old hinted at what style of football Roar fans can expect, starting with this weekend’s clash against Sydney FC.

“The problem now is it’s almost a default answer, when you put coaches on the spot, how do you want to play?” he said.

“An attractive playing style? Possession based build up? I think I’ve got a good record of delivering that. I’m very passionate about delivering a playing style that dominates the game through possession, we will work exceptionally hard out of possession.

“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, but above that, it’s not an athletic thing.

“Because I believe that’s the best way to control a game and win games of football and to win games of football.”

Cahn is the fifth different manager to lead Brisbane’s Isuzu UTE A-League side in the last year, and takes over a team fresh off not only an 8-1 defeat, but three straight losses.

But he believes he’s firmly up for the challenge that lays ahead, which is the biggest of his coaching career so far.

“It’s certainly not the conditions that you want to come into as a head coach, in your first A-League job,” he said.

“But being a young coach from outside of the A-League, my chance was never going to come in easy conditions, so it’s a challenge that I’m willing to embrace.

“Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve embraced challenges and this one’s no different… You can’t really look at the bigger picture, and you can’t really look at what’s happened in the past. We can only look at what we can do.

“That is, number one, preparing for Sydney FC this weekend and number two, building the road map for where we want to go in the future.


“The A-League is the A-League, and it’s the the highest level of football in this country.

“But everywhere I’ve been, there are different micro challenges that you have to face that it make the job overall more difficult.

“When you come into a professional football club, you’re given far more resources and the full time players, obviously got a great staff behind us, and a club that’s willing to back the direction and journey that we’re all going on.

“So there are parts of it that are easier than working in the NPL, but in terms of the expectation and the current situation that we face with recent results and the disruption to the squad, it’s a fairly big challenge.”

At 35, Cahn is the youngest coach in the Isuzu UTE A-League, and is in fact, younger than some of the players still playing in the league at the moment.

However, age is just a number for the Englishman, who has been in the coaching caper for over a decade, which he thinks makes him ready for the big time.

“I think you have to remember that for the normal pathway for a coach is to come out of professional football in your sort of early to mid thirties, go down the coach coaching licences pathway… go through as an assistant coach, whatever it might be,” he said.

“I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. I’m about 15 years into this journey, so age really is irrelevant to me and I’ve delivered an unbelievable amount of training sessions in my lifetime. I’ve overseen an unbelievable amount of games and the age might be something externally looked at, but for me, it’s not a factor.

“I’ve been ready for this for a long time.”

Brisbane currently sit seventh on the standings heading into Round 11, with goal difference separating them and sixth-placed Central Coast Mariners.

A win this week could catapult his side back into the six and making finals is still firmly on the agenda for Cahn, with 17 games still to play this season.

“At this stage top six is is what we’re aiming for,” he said.

“I firmly believe we can go on and deliver further than that. This squad is resilient. They’re hungry. We’ve got players coming back from injury.

“There’s potential to do some business in the window. ‘m not here just to focus on next season. We’re here to try and get as much as we can out of that this year and that’s playing finals football and then seeing where we can go from there.

“That would be where we would like to be at the end of the year.”