We caught up with the Central Coast Mariners Academy Head Coach, Ben Cahn ahead of his side’s PS4 NPL 2 clash against the Western Sydney Wanderers Academy.
This Saturday the Mariners Academy travel to Blacktown Football park to face the Western Sydney Wanderers Academy and with the side’s senior players back in full training Cahn is looking forward to the Round 9 hit out.
With the Hyundai A-League season drawing to an end: Steve Whyte, Reece Papadimitrios and Lachlan Wales have rejoined regular training with Cahn who says that their experience within the first team set up has seen them return with more to offer.
Cahn is happy with his side’s performances this season but is looking forward to turning positive performances into positive results.
“The last two weeks of training have been closer to where we would like it to be because obviously the boys who have featured in the A-League squad have been back in for the majority of sessions which helps,” Cahn said. “This season performances have been really top notch so there is a lot of confidence there but there’s a bit of apprehension because we seem to be punished for every mistake we make at the moment.
“Teams who have two chances against us are scoring two goals and we’re missing chances at the other end so there’s a bit of excitement looking at the next few weeks knowing that if we can pick up some good results we can quickly climb up the league table.
“I’m a big believer in team building and having dynamics in a team and if you’re three senior players are not training with you regularly it’s harder to integrate and changes the balance so having them at training has been excellent,” Cahn said.
This Saturday the Mariners face a familiar opponent in the Western Sydney Wanderers Academy who they played twice in the Foxtel National Youth League Season.
Cahn says the fixture has all the makings for a great game of football.
“We know this weekend will be a proper football game between two teams who will try to play positive football,” Cahn said. “We’ve played each other twice recently in the NYL so the players and coaching staff are quite familiar with each other so I guess there’s a slight increase in the predictability of how they might approach it which we don’t get so easily with some of the other teams who are a bit more random and a bit more physical.
“This Saturday is a different proposition and hopefully we can make the most of it and do our homework so we can compete with them.
“We beat them once and drew with them once in the NYL, last year in the NPL we lost one and drew one – if you look at the last four games between us we have been the better side so there’s no reason why we can’t go there and win but at the same time they are the type of team who, if you don’t turn up and you make the same mistakes we’ve made in recent weeks they’ve got such quality that they can hurt you.
“Training today was very good, we are very prepared, I think it will be a tight game and if both teams turn up and do their jobs there will only be one goal in it either way,” Cahn said.
With a full Foxtel National Youth League Season under their belts, Cahn credited some of his younger players for their contribution this NPL season.
“Boys like Tommy Lyons and Sean Pratt who are both local boys that were 20s players last year both had good NYL seasons and are now prominent senior members of the NPL first team,” Cahn said. “Maki Petratos has come in after not having much time in the NYL season is very young and has scored seven goals in seven games this season – he has proven that he is a long term prospect with big potential.
“But you also have to remember that some of our players with the highest potential are in the 18s and 20s at the moment and although they are not playing in our first team right now they can certainly contribute moving forward,” Cahn said.