|Full name||Mehmet Durakovic|
|Date of birth||13 October 1965|
|Place of birth||Titograd, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Playing position||Defender (retired)|
|Port Melbourne Sharks|
|1988||→ Footscray JUST (loan)||25||(1)|
|1989–1995||South Melbourne FC||138||(5)|
|2000–2004||South Melbourne FC||98||(1)|
|2003–?||Port Melbourne Sharks|
|2008–2011||Melbourne Victory Youth|
|2011||Melbourne Victory (Caretaker)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 August 2007.
† Appearances (Goals).
Mehmet Duraković (born 13 October 1965) is an Australian football manager and former player. Born in Titograd, Yugoslavia, now Podgorica, Montenegro, he spent his playing career as a defender for a number of clubs in the Australian National Soccer League, with a brief stint in Malaysia with Selangor FA. Durakovic made 64 appearances and scored six goals for the Australian national team. He was head coach of A-league club Melbourne Victory from March 2011 until January 2012.
Mehmet Durakovic was born in Montenegro into an Albanian family that was one of thousands living in the Yugoslav state. Durakovic has stated, ‘‘When people ask me where I was born I say Montenegro. When they ask about the nationality of my family I say I am Albanian. We moved to Melbourne when I was six, though, so we are Australian really’’.
The Durakovic family left Yugoslavia in search of better work and opportunities for their growing children. They went to Italy for three months to decide whether to go to America or Australia, choosing Australia. The family settled within the migrant communities of St Albans in 1971, and began to adapt to life in Australia reasonably well. Mehmet’s official playing days began at Footscray juniors, and then he moved on to Port Melbourne juniors when the family moved to the Inner-city suburbs. He was with Port Melbourne from Under-10s to Under-16s.
After living in Australia for ten years, Mehmet’s parents had missed their family and friends in Montenegro and moved back. Although unhappy, Mehmet began to take his soccer more seriously. He played with local clubs in the lower divisions. However, in just over a year Budućnost Titograd, who played in the Yugoslav First League, asked him to trial with them.
With Titograd being over an hour away from his home, the club put him in a hotel. Although it was a good introduction into professional soccer, the senior players at Budućnost would pull his shirt and kick him a lot, viewing him as a threat to their positions. Even though Durakovic developed a lot in Budućnost, he was lonely with only Dejan Savićević the only other person he was friendly with. In 1984, Durakovic missing Australia, returned by himself and immediately joined Port Melbourne senior team. After one month, he had been signed by NSL club Brunswick Juventus.
Durakovic was a defender for Brunswick Juventus from 1985 to 1988, making 61 appearances and scoring two goals for the club. He spent most of his first year at Juventus in the reserves or on the bench for the seniors. He came off the bench a couple of times in 1985, but did not make his full debut until late that season. His second game for Juventus was the grand final against Sydney City. He was part of Juventus' 1985 NSL Championship winning team.
In 1987, Brunswick began a downhill slide and were relegated from the NSL by 1988. Mehmet was loaned out to Footscray JUST in 1988 and stayed just one year. He made 25 appearances (one goal), before moving to South Melbourne FC where he made 138 appearances and scored five goals from 1989 to 1995. He was part of South Melbourne's 1991 NSL Championship winning team.
In 1994, Ken Worden was the coach of Selangor FA in Malaysia and the club was having a tournament to open their brilliant new stadium. Vasco de Gama, Dundee United, Bayern Munich, Leeds and Selangor were all to play and Ken wanted to strengthen his squad for the tournament. In the end, Eddie Krncevic, Bruce Grobbelaar and Mehmet Durakovic were asked to play a couple games. Impressed with what they saw, they paid South Melbourne $130,000 for his transfer. In 1995, Durakovic moved to Malaysia where he played for Selangor FA until 1998 before returning to Australia, joining Sydney Olympic, for whom he played 21 times from 1998 to 1999. His next NSL club was Gippsland Power, where he made 25 appearances in 1999 and 2000.
In his final move, Durakovic returned to South Melbourne in 2000, making a further 98 appearances until retiring in 2004. He was named in South's team of the century in 2000.
Durakovic played 64 times for the Australian national team from 1990 to 2002, including several FIFA World Cup qualification campaigns. In the qualifying campaign for the 1994 World Cup, he scored a vital goal against Canada to level the tie on aggregate. In the subsequent play-off against Argentina, he marked Diego Maradona.
Durakovic's managerial career began with Port Melbourne Sharks in 2003. He then became the manager of the Victorian Institute of Sport Football (Soccer) Program. In 2008, Mehmet Durakovic was appointed the inaugural manager of the Melbourne Victory Youth Team. He stayed in the role until 2011, when he was appointed the caretaker manager of the Melbourne Victory senior team, following Ernie Merrick's sacking during Victory's Asian Champions League campaign.
Under Durakovic as caretaker head coach, Melbourne Victory won one of their remaining Asian Champions League fixtures and drew the others. Subsequently in June 2011 Durakovic was named as Merrick's permanent replacement, signing a two-year deal.
Under the weight of expectation, particularly in the light of Kewell's arrival, Melbourne Victory started the 2011-12 A-League season poorly, failing to score in their first three games and remaining without a win until Round 4. As the season progressed, Melbourne Victory's performances remained inconsistent, and following successive away losses against Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners which saw Victory fall to eighth position, in January 2012 Durakovic was sacked after only seven months in the job. He was succeeded by former Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers manager Jim Magilton.
- As of 28 June 2012
|Melbourne Victory||March 2011||January 2012||19||4||9||6||21.05|
With Brunswick Juventus:
With South Melbourne FC:
With Selangor FA:
- Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (The Meritorious Service Medal in Malaysia): 1995
- South Melbourne's Team of the Century: 2000
- Wallace, Neil (2004). Our Socceroos. 20 Alfred street, Milsons Point, NSW: Random House Australia Pty Ltd. pp. 164–169. ISBN 1 74051 306 1. Retrieved 2013-03-14. Unknown parameter
- "Durakovic closes curtain on brilliant career". South Melbourne FC. 5 March 2004. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- Foxsports Australia http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/a-league-giants-melbourne-victory-sack-coach-ernie-merrick-after-asian-champions-league-disaster/story-e6frf4gl-1226020259849
- Sportal http://www.sportal.com.au/football-news-display/victory,-merrick-part-114976
- http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/news/1061605/Durakovic-gets-Victory-role Durakovic gets Victory job
- Courier Mail http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/mehmet-durakovic-to-be-named-melbourne-victorys-new-coach/story-e6frep5o-1226078808073
- "Victory Swoop For Cernak". FourFourTwo Australia. Haymarket Group. 20 October 2010.
- "Velaphi Move To Victory Sealed". FourFourTwo Australia. Haymarket Group. 8 February 2011.
- "Victory secure Rojas signing". A-League Official Website. 11 March 2011.
- "Victory snare Roar's Solorzano". A-League Official Website. 28 March 2011.
- Smithies, Tom (20 August 2011). "Harry Kewell signs three-year deal with Melbourne Victory". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney: Nationwide News Pty Limited).
- "2011/12 Playing Squad Nearing Completion". Melbourne Victory. 15 September 2011.
- "Durakovic given his marching orders". ABC. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
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