Ufuk Talay ready to reignite the Sky Blues

Ufuk Talay is the new Head Coach of Sydney FC and with the Sky Blues failing to earn a point in the opening three matches of the Izusu UTE A-League season, Talay relayed to fans that he will be aiming to turn Sydney’s early form around when the Sky Blues face Adelaide United on Saturday Night. 

“The expectation here is to win trophies, and it’s what our members and fans want. At the end of the day, we want to play exciting football,” Talay said. 

“Observing from outside, I think we’ve got a very good squad that can achieve very good things this season.”

Sydney FC CEO Mark Aubrey and Sydney FC Head Coach Ufuk Talay

After playing football worldwide for 19 years earning trophies with the Sky Blues and Galatasaray, Talay became an assistant coach for teams such as Sydney United, Australia U17’s and most notably, Sydney FC in their premiership-winning 2018/2019 Season.

Talay was Head Coach for the Australian U20s in 2016 and, in 2019, took the reins of the Wellington Phoenix for four seasons, where he became known as one of the best coaches the club had. In 2019/2020, he led The Nix to their highest ever-finish and won the PFA’s award for Coach of the Season after finishing third.

Talay with Wellington Phoenix

When reflecting on his time in Wellington, Talay explained that:

“In Wellington, we had a good first season. My job is to get the best out of individuals so that they can go out there and do their best.”

“One thing you’ll definitely see from me at Sydney FC is ambition, drive and passion for this club to be successful.”

Most recently, Talay was an assistant coach for the Socceroos alongside Graham Arnold, where he was part of the camps against Argentina and England.

“There’s always learning. I was fortunate enough to be involved in some pretty good international fixtures when we played Argentina in China, Mexico in Dallas and England and New Zealand over in England.”

“It’s nice to see how other nations and teams set up and how they do things with and without the ball. There’s a lot of learning moments with Graham and the camps.”

Ufuk Talay will look to bring the best out of the Sky Blues after their loss to Melbourne City last Friday. Although he only has two days with the team until they verse Adelaide, Talay assured fans that:

“We will be working on trying to win the game against Adelaide. It’s a very short turnaround, but we’ll try to maximise the time we have.”

When walking around the Sky Blues facilities, Talay quickly commented, “The game has evolved… having all these facilities are very important for the players, and I definitely think it enhances performance.”

Pat Wood in action last time out against Melbourne City

In 2005, Talay moved back to Australia, where he signed with Sydney FC until 2008, beside Steve Corica, Clint Bolton and Robbie Middleby, whom he played with at the FIFA Youth World Cup.

When reminiscing his time at the Sky Blues, Talay said,

“It’s a familiar setting for me in the sense that I understand the standards and the expectations that are required at this club.”

“This is my third time back at the club, originally as a player in the inaugural season for the A-League, and then coming back as an assistant under Stevie and coming back now as a Head Coach.”

Alex Brosque and Ufuk Talay back in the day as players

Talay played 85 games in total for the Sky Blues, including the first match between Adelaide United and Sydney FC in the A-League era back in 2005. The Sky Blues Head Coach will look to perform similarly to that match over 18 years ago, where Sydney FC defeated the Reds 2-1. 

Ufuk Talay will be in charge for the match this weekend and will be on the touchline for his first home game against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday 25th November at Allianz Stadium.