Ufuk Talay wants to restore Sydney FC to their past glory as a powerhouse of Australian football after signing a two-year deal with the struggling A-League Men heavyweights.
Sydney confirmed on Wednesday that Talay will replace Steve Corica, who was sacked on Tuesday after the Sky Blues’ winless start to the ALM season.
Talay will take charge of Saturday’s trip away to Adelaide before his first home game against a Western Sydney Wanderers side led by good mate Marko Rudan a fortnight later.
The 47-year-old, who left Wellington at the expiration of his contract earlier this year, wants to reinvigorate a club which hasn’t won an ALM premiership or championship since 2020.
“I won a championship as a player and as an assistant coach here, and now I want to do it as head coach,” Talay said in a statement.
“This is Australia’s most successful club, and it matches my own expectations of challenging for league titles every season.
“We have a high-quality group of international calibre players, as well as some extremely talented young players, and I’m excited to see what we can produce.”
Talay earned high praise for transforming Wellington into a regular finals threat, his ability to blood younger players and his savvy recruitment of foreigners.
He served under Graham Arnold and Corica during his time as an assistant at Sydney.
Since missing out on the New Zealand national team job and leaving Wellington at the end of last season, Talay has been on Arnold’s support staff in the Socceroos set-up a role he has had to relinquish.
Talay was a foundation player at Sydney FC alongside Corica and chairman Scott Barlow said the new boss, whose deal runs to the end of the 2024/25 season, is aware of the high standards he will be held to.
“Ufuk is a talented and dynamic coach who will bring his positive, attacking style of football to Sydney FC,” Barlow said in a statement.
“He has proven he is an astute tactician with excellent player management skills, and he has the ability to bring the best out of our young squad.
“As a former Sydney FC player and coach, Ufuk is well aware of the high expectations and targets we have at the club, and we believe he is the right man to achieve them.”
Talay met Sydney’s backroom staff on Wednesday and is due to front the players and media for the first time on Thursday.