Sydney FC coach sweet on Lolley as English winger signs contract extension
Ufuk Talay says winger Joe Lolley can go on to become one of Sydney FC’s greats after the Englishman penned a two-year extension.
Lolley’s extension is Talay’s first major recruitment and retention decision since he was installed as Steve Corica’s replacement as coach last year.
The 31-year-old has scored seven goals in 12 games this A-League Men season and was named man of the match when Sydney lifted the Australia Cup.
“Joe is one of our leaders and his form this season has been first-class,” Talay said in a statement on Wednesday.
“He has embraced what we are about as a team and as a club, and I know our members will be delighted to know they can see him perform during the prime years of his career.
“Joe has the potential to win a lot more trophies for this club, and if he does that, then he will be up there with the greats of Sydney FC.”
Sydney say Lolley turned down offers from rival ALM clubs to remain with the Sky Blues, who face Newcastle on Friday.
“It feels like we are building something very special under ‘Uffy’ at Sydney FC and I can’t wait to be a part of it for the foreseeable future,” Lolley said.
Roar ready to launch
On the back of their first win in five games and the signing of former player Keegan Jelacic, the Brisbane Roar have kept themselves in the hunt for A-League Men finals ahead of the home clash with Macarthur.
Two goals by their best player Jay O’Shea gave the Roar a 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle on Sunday and took them to 17 points, just one point outside the top six.
The Roar, in eighth spot, will seek their first win at home since November in the clash with the seventh-placed Macarthur Bulls on Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.
Coach Ben Cahn said the win over the Jets, his first in charge, was timely.
“It has been definitely a relief for everyone to get that first win that broke a bit of a run,” he said.
“It has lifted everyone and given us the belief we can win games.
“This group has won a lot games already this season, so they know they have got it in them, but the group have got through a tough period and shown immense character.
“We are very lucky to have (O’Shea). When you are in a tough run and need something, players like that are irreplaceable.”
The addition of Jelacic to the midfield has come at just the right time for Roar.
The 21-year-old signed with Brisbane on a loan from Belgian club Gent, having previously played with Roar in 2021.
Jelacic then had a stint under Cahn at Olympic FC, before joining Perth Glory.
“Keegan will be available for this game and has really rare traits where he can run at players and run behind the opposition defences,” Cahn said.
“I thought in the last couple of games we have lacked a little bit, and having that skill set available to us is going to change the dynamic of how we attack.”
Roar central defender Kai Trewin and Jelacic were in the Brisbane Roar Youth team together and were ALM teammates in 2021.
Trewin said he rated Jelacic highly.
“Keegan is a great player,” he said.
“Since he has been gone he has gained a lot of experience and we are lucky to have him. He will bring excitement, and plays with lots of flair.
“He is a crucial player for the rest of the season.”
Trewin said Cahn had brought in slightly different structures to former head coach John Aloisi, but the ethos of playing an attacking style had remained.