TODAY |

Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay juggling signings and planning for Australia-based season

The flurry of activity at the Wellington Phoenix has been pretty hectic this week with signings and confirmation of another base relocation all being announced.

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As well as construct a team, Talay is hoping to build a local fan base in Australia when they head over. Source: 1 NEWS

In fact, Ufuk Talay's phone has barely stopped ringing for weeks as he juggles finalising his squad and planning for an A-League season that could see them based in Australia for up to eight months.

“It's disappointing that we have to go down this path, out of our control at the end of the day,” Talay told 1 NEWS.

The squad is initially set to be based in Wollongong for the first three weeks as they scout a suitable and longer-term home away from home.

Much like the New Zealand Warriors did in Tamworth during their Australia-based NRL campaign, Talay believes winning over local support will be crucial for them this season.

“Once we assess the best place to be, we need to get out to the community, embrace the community and try attract them to come while we're down there.”

Being based in Australia won't feel completely foreign, having finished last season from a quarantined bubble but for a full campaign to be feasible, Talay is adamant they need normality.

“We spent nine weeks last time in the hub and it is pretty difficult because as much as I love football, I like going home to my family and at times not talking about football,” he said.

“Being in a hub for nine weeks on top of each other, there was no time to switch off mentally.

“We need to create that normality the players would have in Wellington - coming in to work, training, then they go home and live their lives. That's the environment we want to create while we're over there.”

Talay remains hopeful they won’t need that environment for the entire season though.

“Fingers crossed that the bubble does open, that we can come back and we can play games here in front of our fans.”