- Ufuk Talay is new coach of Sydney FC, replaced Steve Corica
- Ufuk has Turkish origins, often a source of amusement for fans
- Squad player when Sky Blues won A-League grand final in 2006
- Also worked under Steve Corica as assistant coach in 2018 and 2019
Ufuk Talay doesn’t need an introduction for many Sydney FC fans given his previous success at the club as a player and assistant coach – but correctly pronouncing his name is another matter.
Talay, 47, is the new head coach of the Sky Blues, replacing Steve Corica, who was sacked earlier this week after three successive defeats in the A-League.
And Sky Blues supporters take note: the best way to pronounce Ufuk – which means ‘horizon’ in Turkish – is to emphasise the ‘K’ as you say ‘Oo-fook’.
The former midfielder – once labelled by ex-Socceroo Josip Skoko as the ‘best player to never represent Australia’ – is confident the Sky Blues can salvage their horror season to date and return to their winning ways.
The former Wellington Phoenix boss took charge of his first training session on Thursday, just two days out from their clash against top-of-the-table Adelaide United this weekend.
Ufuk Talay doesn’t need an introduction for many Sydney FC fans given his previous success at the club as a player, then assistant coach
Talay represented Sydney FC as a player from 2005 to 2008 ( pictured right, celebrating a goal in 2007 during the AFC Champions League)
Signing a two-year deal, Talay may have his work cut out if his team doesn’t click into gear quickly.
Sydney FC are yet to score a goal this campaign and sit bottom of the table – but it was only last month Corica guided the club to victory in the Australia Cup final versus Brisbane Roar.
‘We want to be big, bold and iconic,’ Talay said on Thursday.
‘We’ve got the lads to do it. We also need the attributes to do it. Thankfully, we have quality staff to be able to achieve our goals collectively.
Talay declared his intention for Sydney FC to rediscover their winning ways and strive to be ‘big, bold and iconic’
‘But I’m not naive … it may take some time, but the expectation of myself and the expectation of the group is to be successful.’
Talay also had a message for Sydney FC fans – you may see a few new faces in the starting XI against the Reds this weekend.
‘It’s always a clean slate for players when a new coach comes in,’ he said.
‘Everyone should be on their toes because anything’s possible.’