Talay appointed Wellington Phoenix coach

Ufuk Talay will replace outgoing Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan for the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.

Talay spent the 2018/19 campaign as assistant coach at Sydney FC, having moved into the Harbour City role when Steve Corica was promoted to head coach of the Sky Blues. 

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The former Galatasaray and Sydney FC player will take on his first senior head coaching role in Wellington, after serving three years assisting the Australia Under 17s side and two years as head coach of the Under 20s.

Talay replaces Rudan, who oversaw a single season in New Zealand where Phoenix surged from ninth in 2017/18 to sixth in 2018/19, and qualified for the Hyundai A-League Finals Series for the first time in five years.

Phoenix Chairman Rob Morrison explained that Talay's ambition to turn the Kiwi club into a perennial finals outfit was a big factor behind his appointment.

"Ufuk Talay is a highly driven young coach who strongly believes he is the coach who can bring success to the Phoenix," said Morrison.

"When we talked to Ufuk it was clear that he has the same vision for the club that we have. A team that is consistently in the finals and challenging for the title.

"The club spent a lot of time in the off season rebuilding the values around the playing squad. Ufuk can build on that.

"He has enormous drive and ambition. And that’s something we value highly."

Following a 3-1 Elimination Final defeat against 2018 Champions Melbourne Victory on Friday, Morrison cited a focus on developing the club's young players was a priority for the Nix.

"The club has spent a lot of money and resource in the Academy space and you can see this in the talent that is coming through," said Morrison.

"We wanted a coach who was going to drive through the group the desire to win, to play for the club and the city and to never give up.

"We believe that Ufuk is that coach."

Talay's coaching career

2012–2016          Australian Institute of Sport coach

2013–2016          Australia U-17 assistant coach

2016–2018          Australia U-20 head coach

2018–2019          Sydney FC assistant coach

2019–                     Wellington Phoenix head coach 

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