New Sydney FC coach Ufuk Talay will give the Sky Blues a licence to thrill as he attempts to revamp the five-time A-League champions’ “brand” and lift them off the bottom of the ladder.
As expected, former Wellington Phoenix mentor Talay has replaced the sacked Steve Corica in the Sydney hot seat following the club poor start to its 2023-23 campaign.
Ahead of their battle on Saturday night against the undefeated Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium, the Sky Blues have no points from three matches and are yet to score a goal.
“We’ll be working in the next two days on how we’re going to try to win the game against Adelaide, but it’s a very short turnaround so we’ll try to maximise the time we have,” Talay said.
However, Talay – who since leaving the Phoenix at the end of last season has been part of the Socceroos coaching staff under Graham Arnold – doesn’t want the Sky Blues to be judged solely on how many games they win this season.
“The expectation here is to win trophies, and that’s what our members want and our fans want,” he said.
“Winning in important, but I also think the brand is as important as winning.
“We want to play a certain way, and win games at the same time.
“We want to play exciting football. How that looks, we’ll see in the next few weeks as I work with the players, but we want the fans to enjoy the game and have excitement when they come to the game to watch their team play and perform, and at the same time, hopefully win games.”
It’s 47-year-old Talay’s third spell as the Sky Blues, having won titles with the Sydneysiders previously as a player and an assistant coach.
“Now I want to do it as head coach. This is Australia’s most successful club, and it matches my own expectations of challenging for league titles every season,” he said.
“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.”
Sky Blues chairman Scott Barlow said: “Ufuk is a talented and dynamic coach who will bring his positive, attacking style of football to Sydney FC.
“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.
“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’s Sydney deal expires at the end of the 2024-25 season,
“I can’t wait to start working with the players (on Thursday),” he said.
Originally published as Ufuk Talay confirmed as the replacement for sacked coach Steve Corica at Sydney FC