Ufuk Talay open to juggling jobs with Phoenix and All Whites

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His Wellington Phoenix team had just scored a last-minute equaliser at home, but Ufuk Talay kept getting questioned about one thing on Sunday – the All Whites coaching job.

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The role is on every Kiwi football fans mind, with it being announced on Tuesday that Danny Hay wouldn’t receive a new contract from New Zealand Football, opening the door for a new person at the helm.

Candidates were thrown around for the vacant job, with Talay’s name being mentioned by many and he said that he was keen on the role if given the opportunity.

“A question was asked by a reporter the other day and I said yes I would be interested,” Talay said.

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When asked if he could juggle both roles for club and country, it was noted that it had been done before.

Ricki Herbert coached both the All Whites and Phoenix from 2007-2013 and Talay believed that he could do it as well.

“It is a lot of work, I’m not going to say it’s not,” he said.

“You are working in a window where you are together for a short time and then you come back into club land again. I am not saying it is going to be easy.”

One reason New Zealand Football may want a full-time national coach is they would be completely focused on the All Whites and can watch overseas players play too. Talay didn’t think that would be an issue though.

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“I work here with a lot of the locally based players and there’s some talented overseas players. There will obviously be background staff watching over those overseas players,” he said.

It would be incredibly demanding to work for both the All Whites and Phoenix, with Talay saying a lot of it depended on the scheduling of international fixture windows.

“When it comes to that point a discussion will be had with New Zealand Football and the  Phoenix. It’s very important with A-League scheduling,” he said.

“If it does happen the scheduling needs to work where I can be available for both.”

Phoenix captain and All Whites goalkeeper Oli Sail backed his manager to make the step up to international management.

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“Its been done before with Ricki. I can see the positives to it,” Sail said.

“Ufuy’s a great coach and understands the game extremely well tactically. Your certainly not gonna lose anything by having Ufuy as national team manager that’s for sure.”

There haven’t been any official talks yet but Talay said New Zealand Football know where to find him.

“I’m here where I am right now and if anyone wants to talk to me they know where I am,” Talay said.

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Featured image credit: Cameron McIntosh

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Joshua Dean
Joshua Dean
Aspiring sports journalist! I love sports and enjoy writing, so added my two hobbies together! Studying Journalism at Massey University, Wellington.

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