Olympic FC wish to confirm that Head Coach, Ben Cahn has informed the club that he will be moving on ahead of the 2023 season.
With finals football having eluded Olympic in the two seasons prior to his arrival Cahn returned the club to the summit of Queensland football leading Olympic to five straight Grand Final appearances while playing a brand of football that captured audiences around the country.
In an era when the majority of the NPL Queensland’s original clubs struggled to compete with the new powerhouses of the local game following the competition’s restructure and introduction of promotion and relegation in 2018, Cahn lead Olympic to a club record NPL Queensland points tally for a single season (62 points) and a club record NPL Queensland unbeaten run (17 games).
Cahn took Olympic to the Australia Cup national rounds on two occasions including a club record equalling run to the Round of 16 in 2019 where only a last minute penalty saw Olympic beaten by eventual Champions and A-League outfit, Adelaide United.
In 2020 Cahn was named NPL Queensland Coach of the Year and was named as Head Coach of the NPL Queensland All Stars for matches against Brisbane Roar and the NPL NSW All Stars.
A host of Queensland’s best young players flourished under Cahn’s tutelage during his time at Olympic including Jez Lofthouse and Keegan Jelacic who earned professional contracts at Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory respectively.
Olympic were the only club in Queensland from which players earned professional A—League contracts in the past two seasons.
Zelfy Nazary, now of St Albans earned a first national team call up and debut for Afghanistan whilst playing for Cahn at Olympic in 2018.
Daniel Leck and Alex Smith were both crowned NPL Queensland Player of the Year during Cahn’s time at the club while Leck and Lofthouse both won Young Player of the Year.
Several of Cahn’s backroom staff went on to work at higher levels including goalkeeper coach, Brody Sams who went on to work for Brisbane Roar and Gotham FC, analyst Nathan Muir got a role with Adelaide United and physio Andrew Shaw worked with Brisbane Roar.
Cahn thanked all involved in his five seasons at Goodwin Park.
“It’s been an incredible five years, full of challenges and some amazing memories. I’m very grateful to Peter Ioannidis, Manos Saridakis and Emanuel Baveas for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to the take the club forward at such a young age (29), and for backing me the whole way through,” Cahn said.
“I’d like to thank the Olympic Community for embracing me. The noise, passion support and memories we’ve created will live with me forever.
“I cannot thank the staff and players enough for all they’ve given me. It’s an absolute honour to have watched everyone learn, grow, thrive, and give everything for each other week after week, year after year.
“I’ll be forever grateful for the loyalty from those who have believed and trusted in me through all the highs and lows and for the life-long friendships we’ve developed.
“Whilst the disappointment of the five Grand Finals hurts me more than I can explain, everybody involved can be proud of how consistently we’ve competed at the very top of the game in our state, the belief in our playing style and the level of football we’ve played and the resilience we’ve shown to keep bouncing back from setbacks.
“The connection of the football pyramid in the state through promotion and relegation has rightly filtered the best talent to the top and made the NPL Queensland more and more competitive each year. Where other clubs have struggled to keep up or even been left behind, we’ve managed to keep pace with some outstanding, ambitious, and well-resourced football clubs. And for that we can all be immensely proud.
“I wish everybody at Olympic FC and it’s community the very best moving forward.”
Olympic FC President, Peter Ioannidis thanked Cahn for his significant contribution over the past five years.
“Ben is a consummate professional, a meticulous planner – whether it was his training sessions or analysing opponents, he never left a stone unturned hence why we managed to make five consecutive Grand Finals,” Ioannidis said.
“No one felt a poor result more than Ben, he felt for our supporters when the team lost or drew games.
“Ben cared so deeply for the club that when COVID hit he was happy to forgo his pay so that the club could survive the pandemic.
“We wish him every success with what he does in the future in football, he thoroughly deserves an opportunity coaching at the highest level.
“It’s an injustice that he hasn’t been given an opportunity to coach an A-League team but I hope that this may come quickly because he would be an asset for any side.
“He was more than just a coach to our players – he was a mentor to a number of aspiring coaches coming through the club, a father figure to his players and even a psychologist when players were going through rough patches in life.”
The club also wishes to confirm that Assistant Coaches Richard Greer and Gilbert Albertson as well as Goalkeeper Coach Callum Muir have also moved on following the conclusion of the 2022 season.
Olympic wish to sincerely thank Ben and his staff for their significant contribution to the football club over past five years and wish him every success in the future.