By Declan Smith
After six seasons as Canberra Olympic Head Coach, Frank Cachia has announced that he will be taking a break from coaching.
Cachia leaves the role having had one of the most successful stints in the ACT, leading Olympic to a combined nine trophies since taking over in 2014.
Amongst the three Premierships, two Grand Finals, two Federation Cups and two Charity Shields, Cachia says two titles stand out above the rest.
The first is the recent 2019 NPL Premiership, which looked unlikely at the start of the year given the players Olympic lost in the offseason.
“[The 2019 title] was really significant,” Cachia said.
“On the back of last year when we ran second in everything, I think bouncing back and actually showing that Olympic is still around and still a force to be reckoned with and that we’re not going away any time soon.”
The second to stand out is the 2015 Grand Final. This was Cachia’s first full season in charge and the first time the team was really his.
“The way we finished off that season, especially in the final, was immense,” Cachia said.
“Even though we were down after 40 seconds to Canberra FC, the boys stood up strong and we ended up winning that game 3-1.”
But without a shadow of a doubt, Cachia admits the most significant achievement in his time at Olympic was leading the side to the FFA Cup semi-finals in 2016.
“If you’re looking at the most significant achievement, that was making the semi-final of the FFA Cup, where we played Sydney FC,” Cachia said.
“I guess it was good as far as our own reputation and our own profile were concerned, but it was actually quite surreal to be a part of and I think it actually put [Canberra] on the map.”
Even though it was Olympic who had the incredibly successful season, with a League title and Grand Final win added to the FFA Cup run, Cachia believes it could have been anyone that did what Olympic did, a testament to the quality of football in the nation’s capital.
“Even though Olympic were carrying the flag for Canberra, the fact that we were run so close by Tigers FC that particular season spoke volumes about how good the competition was that year,” Cachia said.
“There wasn’t actually that much between us and Cooma at the end of the season, so if it wasn’t us, it could’ve been Cooma, or it could’ve been Belconnen doing some of the things we did”.
Cachia will be looking to add NPL1 Coach of the Year to his resume at tonight’s Capital Football awards ceremony, but will need to overcome Tigers mentor Gaby Wilk and Gungahlin United’s Grand Final winning coach Marcial Munoz.