Talay signs on at Nix ahead of homecoming

Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay Source: Getty Images

Ufuk Talay has signed a new two-year deal to stay at Wellington Phoenix on the eve of the A-League club's record-breaking homecoming.

At long last, the Nix will play in front of their home fans on Saturday.

The club has been stationed for six months in Wollongong, Australia to fulfil their A-League commitments, and haven't played at home for 433 days.

Talay's re-signing gives them an even bigger boost ahead of the clash with Western United.

"We are obviously thrilled," Phoenix chief executive David Dome told journalists on Friday.

Talay led Wellington to third last season - the club's highest finish - and the club have high hopes of returning to the finals again this campaign.

The Phoenix have also re-signed goalkeeper Oliver Sail (two years), striker Ben Waine (three years) and midfielder Clayton Lewis (two years) this week.

They arrive back in New Zealand on a seven-game unbeaten streak, sitting three points outside the top six in ninth.

On Saturday, they'll be helped by a monster turnout.

More than 17,000 tickets have been sold for the Sky Stadium match, which will be the highest attended regular season match in the club's history.

If walk-up sales are strong - which is likely given the sunny forecast - the match could out-sell the most recent Sydney derby and boast the biggest crowd of the season.

Wellington also play at Auckland's Eden Park next weekend, with hopes high for another bumper attendance.

While there will be plenty of bums on seats for the match, the club have taken the step of banning foreign flags in the stands.

Israeli striker Tomer Hemed stoked tensions last week by celebrating with a traditional Jewish cap and, later, an Israeli flag after scoring in Wellington's 2-2 draw with leader Melbourne City.

The celebrations were seen as insensitive given Israel's role in a deadly conflict with Palestinians on the Gaza Strip.

Hemed will be relied upon to find the net again, given captain and midfield maestro Ulises Davila has been ruled out of Saturday's match.

If reports are to be believed, Davila may not play again for the club.

With just a fortnight of regular season matches left, the Mexican has reportedly signed a deal to move to A-League rivals Macarthur FC next season.

Source AAP