Sydney FC coach Steve Corica is putting his friendship with former teammate and assistant cosch Ufuk Talay aside as they prepare to face off when in their match against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
Corica and Talay’s friendship dates back to the inaugural years of the A-League when they shared the field for Sydney FC for three seasons, as well as winning a grand final.
Talay returned to the Sky Blue side of Sydney as Corica’s assistant in his triumphant Grand Final winning season, his first as a head coach.
Now, as Talay takes the helm of his first professional side, Corica is doing his best to welcome his mate to the big time.
“He texted me before his game last week wishing me all the best for the season. This week there’s been no contact,” Corica said.
“Obviously we are good friends but when it comes down to when we play against each other, it’s full focus on your own team and getting the job done.”
Corica’s side had to fight hard for three points away to Adelaide last week, winning 3-2 late in the game. Talay’s Wellington came up short at home to A-League newcomers Western United, losing 1-0.
Having been last season’s assistant coach, Talay knows the ins and outs of the majority of Corica’s squad, but the Sydney gaffer has a plan to combat his former apprentice.
“We played them in pre-season and watched them against Western United,” said Corica. “They’re very similar to the way we set up.
“We know what to expect from them.”