FTBL believes now is the time for young, fresh Australian coaches to be given a chance for the next A-League season, whenever that kicks off. Starting with the pride of SA, Adelaide United.
United must find a head coach for the proposed August 1 resumption of season 2019/20 of the A-League.
The Reds parted company with FFA Cup winning Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek, who last week announced he wasn’t returning to Australia after he relocated to Holland during the COVID-19 self-isolation period.
The good news is, there are some fantastic young Australian coaches out there and now, with budgets tighter than ever before, surely isn’t it time to go local?
It helps the game but it’s also a smart business decision: Mark Rudan and Uffy Talay are just two fine examples of why A-League clubs should mine the local market.
There are a number of names to look at but here are five talents we believe should be in the mix.
We start with an Ange Postecoglou disciple…
1: ARTHUR PAPAS
The 30-something Victorian is probably the most exciting young coach out there right now. An assistant to Ange at J-League champions Yokohama Marinos, Papas’ career moves have been strategic and smart, gaining overseas experience in India, Japan, and Saudi Arabia while his A-League experience is as an assistant at the Jets and the old Melbourne Heart (City).
Furthermore, his time in the national development system and his qualifications give him a rounded CV.
He’s experienced but still fresh and could be ready for a head coach role back home. The question is, would he want to swap working with the greatest modern-day Aussie coach, the J-League, and Yokohama for Hindmarsh?
2: BEN CAHN
In case you weren’t aware, this young coach (early 30s) is a diamond in the NPL-rough. Speak to the players at Brisbane Olympic FC and they’ll tell you how good the English-sounding Aussie is. He’s experienced the A-League via the Mariners’ youth system and has been to South Korea numerous times to upskill his coaching credentials.
Cahn is a modern-day coach. It was seen early too, with former Fulham youth coach Paul Clement urging the then-teenager to pursue coaching rather than playing professionally.
Cahn ended up in Australia and was by 25 a head coach in the NPL. He’s enjoyed great success at Olympic, despite the usual challenges of any NPL club, and remains an A-League coach in waiting.
“How you manage your people is very important. I’m very people and relationship-driven," he told FTBL last year. “It’s impossible to get buy-in on any tactical ideas however good they are if you haven’t got the trust and respect of the players and staff. I take a lot of care that the relationships within the environment are positive and effective for the team. But I like to innovate too.”
Clubs like the Reds should be innovating too. Cahn will make it. Will Adelaide be the first pro club to benefit from the Cahn factor?