Ufuk Talay has been called into camp with the Socceroos as he waits to pick his moment and land his next coaching gig, possibly with the help of mentor Ange Postecoglou.
The highly-rated Australian manager is out of work, calling time with Wellington Phoenix after four seasons which yielded three Isuzu UTE A-League finals campaigns at the underdog club.
Until the next full-time job arises, Talay has joined up with Graham Arnold’s squad in Beijing as they prepare to face FIFA Men’s World Cup winners Argentina in Beijing, China on Thursday in a glamour friendly.
Talay, 47, is refreshingly ambitious for his career, and is prepared to wait for the right role.
“There’s a few things happening still. I’d love to be able to have an opportunity to go overseas,” he told AAP.
“For me, it’s very important, that I go to an environment where I’m still going to develop and still going to grow.
“I don’t want to go into an environment and take the first opportunity that jumps out.
“I still want to build a career, be a career coach, not jump at the first opportunity.”
That role could be a fixer-upper, if his effort at Wellington is anything to go by.
Asked his highlights from the four campaigns, Talay’s picks surprise.
“A challenging first year putting a team together. That’s a high point,” he said, after joining the A-League Men’s outfit which had just seven contracted players.
“We spent a lot of hours looking at players, recruiting, trying to find the right place to fit in our philosophy.
“I’ve given all-up 22 debuts to players since I’ve been at this club. As a young player coming through at that time under Frank Arok, he gave my debut at 16.
“Giving an opportunity for young players to go out there and live their dream: that’s the big high point for me.”
Overseas moves for Kiwi young guns Ben Waine, Liberato Cacace and Callum McCowatt during Talay’s tenure suggest the Nix could not only play winning football but develop talent.
Talay’s goal of making it overseas has been bolstered in the last week by the promotion of his top reference on his CV: Postecoglou.
The pair worked together during Postecoglou’s stint with the Socceroos, with Talay on double duty as underage Australia coach.
The local hope is that Postecoglou’s move to sleeping giants Tottenham Hotspur will help allow other Australians a shot at the big time – and Talay hopes he could be the first to benefit.
“I have a great relationship with Ange. When I got the job here at Wellington, I think they spoke with Ange before they appointed me,” he said.
“I had the luxury of being able to work beside him with the national teams and see how he works and how he handles things.
“But with me, honestly, I can’t answer the question that say this or that’s going to happen.”