Phoenix boss Talay’s statement of intent

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On Friday afternoon, the Wellington Phoenix unveiled the newest coach in the A-League, Ufuk Talay.

Right from the get-go, one thing was clear. Ufuk Talay wants to win with Wellington. Anything and everything is on the table, starting as soon as possible. The Phoenix might only be the sixth best team in the A-League, but Ufuk isn’t letting that hold him back.

“I’m very ambitious. I’ve come here not just to make the top six, I want to try and win things, starting with the FFA cup in August,” he said.

“I’m not here just to make up the numbers in the competition, we want to be better than what we were last season. The goal for this season is to win everything, as much as we can.”

Ufuk sees recruitment as positively critical for this Phoenix side, which has just seven players signed on for next season.

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“Football is about recruitment. I think 70% is about recruitment, while the other 30% is the motivational, tactical side of things.

“We are looking for a central defender, a midfielder, some 10’s, as well as some strikers to score us the goals.”

Talay would also later confirm that the Phoenix are close to signing a number one goalie next season to replace the outgoing Filip Kurto. And in unrelated news, in his one on one with Stuff’s Phillip Rollo, the Australian would say that All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who has been widely linked with the club, is keen on joining the Phoenix.

The ex Sydney assistant would also mention that his Wellington Phoenix side will be playing his own type of football, which should be an attacking style of play.

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“I can build a team on the way I want to play the game. Players need to fit in to what I believe the game should look like, it’s not just about signing supposed ‘good’ players.

“I believe the way the game should be played so that the players enjoy what they are playing, and the fans enjoy what they see. I want to play an attacking style football where we do score a lot of goals when we have the ball, and when we don’t have it we’re very aggressive and win it back. Similar to Sydney this season.”

A big issue surrounding Wellington is their license, which expires at the end of the 19/20 season. While Talay directed journalists to speak to club chairman Rob Morrison on the matter, Ufuk did have a carefully worded quote for the journalists.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think the club was gonna move forward.”

The departure of previous head coach Mark Rudan was due to his family being across the ditch, but Ufuk gave assurances on that.

“My family will be moving over here. That might be in September, or it might be later in the year once my son’s school year finishes, but they will be moving over.”

And if there is one thing that Ufuk Talay sees in Wellington, it’s hunger.

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“I saw the drive, the ambition to be successful. The fans are hungry, the players are hungry, the town is hungry, the club is hungry. We want success.”

Finally, the new gaffer was asked what he wanted to say to Phoenix fans.

“The fans have been sensational. They were sensational for all of last season as well, and I’m looking forward to their support throughout the year.

“I want the club to be successful, I want the fans to enjoy the football they see in the weekends. I’m here for the long haul.”

Featured image credit: Cameron McIntosh

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Dan Moskovitz
The Football Sack's resident teen kiwi football nut. Loves everything football except defeats.