‘Chiefy’ required to step up as Talay tests positive

Assistant coach Giancarlo Italiano will take charge of the Wellington Phoenix for at least their next two Isuzu UTE A-League matches.

Head coach Ufuk Talay has tested positive to COVID-19 and has to isolate for seven days.

Talay will miss this evening’s match against Perth Glory at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney and Wednesday night’s match against Brisbane Roar in Redcliffe.

If he is symptom free after seven days of isolation he will be able to return to the touchline for next Saturday’s match against Melbourne City.

Italiano, nicknamed ‘Chiefy’, has been Talay’s assistant coach for the past two seasons after initially joining the Phoenix in 2019 as the team’s video analyst and second assistant.

He previously held youth coaching roles at Sydney FC, after leading Blacktown City to the National Premier Leagues Australia title in 2015 as the club’s head of football.