Brattan firms for Sydney as Talay laments Lolley injury

George Clarke |

Sydney FC’s star import Joe Lolley has been ruled out for the rest of the A-League Men campaign.
Sydney FC’s star import Joe Lolley has been ruled out for the rest of the A-League Men campaign.

Captain Luke Brattan is tracking to play in Sydney FC’s semi-final with Central Coast Mariners as manager Ufuk Talay weighs up his options to cover the void left by Joe Lolley.

English winger Lolley is set to miss the rest of Sydney’s season after tearing his hamstring tendon in the Sky Blues’ 4-0 elimination-final win over Macarthur on Saturday.

Lolley has arguably been the form player in the A-League Men this season and Talay said his star import was devastated. 

“We’re all upset in the sense that he’s not going to be available,” Talay said on Wednesday.

“Joe is a special player, not just for Sydney FC but the competition itself.”

While Lolley’s injury is less than ideal, Talay has Patrick Wood, Fabio Gomes and Jaiden Kurcharski all fit and available, while Slovakian import Robert Mak has also hit form at the right end of the season.

Lolley’s involvement in last year’s finals series was also impacted by injury but the signs are much more positive for Brattan ahead of Friday’s first-leg meeting at Allianz Stadium.

Brattan failed to finish the Macarthur win with an ankle complaint but Talay revealed the influential midfielder was on course to play. 

“He did some running yesterday which was great to put some load on his ankle to see where he’s at,” Talay said.

“If he can get through pain free then hopefully he’ll be available, he’s got to be right in his ankle but also in his head.”

Sydney are the only side to have beaten the Mariners twice throughout the regular season.

It should also play into Sydney’s hands that the Central Coast only touched back down in Australia on Tuesday after winning the AFC Cup in Oman.

“They’ll be high on adrenaline, they’ve won the premiers’ plate and the AFC Cup,” Talay said.

“We need a similar type of mindset when we go out there and on the big occasions the boys have stood up.

“One thing we need to be mindful of is that it was in the league, now it’s different and it’s finals football. 

“But the mindset needs to be the same because we’re playing at home. 

“We play at home and we want to play a good game, play our brand of football and hopefully get a score that will make our life a lot easier in the second leg.”