Mehmet Duraković

Mehmet Duraković is an Australian football coach and former player who currently work as coach for Malaysian Super League club Perak FA. 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.

Early life

Mehmet Durakovic was born in Montenegro into an Albanian family. The Durakovic family left Yugoslavia in search of better work and opportunities for their growing children. 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. 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.

Club career

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, before moving to South Melbourne 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 Durakovic moved to Malaysia, where he played for Selangor until 1998 before returning to Australia, joining Sydney Olympic. His next NSL club was Gippsland Falcons, where he made a stunning return to form as the Falcons' key defender - sparking renewed interest from across the NSL despite being in his mid-30s.
In his final move, Durakovic returned to South Melbourne in 2000, retiring in 2004. He was named in South's team of the century in 2000.

International career

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.

Coaching career

Durakovic's coaching career began with Port Melbourne Sharks in 2003. He then became the coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport Football Program. In 2008, Mehmet Durakovic was appointed the inaugural coach of the Melbourne Victory Youth Team. He stayed in the role until 2011, when he was appointed the caretaker coach of the Melbourne Victory FC 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.
As Melbourne Victory's coach, he signed Isaka Cernak, Tando Velaphi, Marco Rojas, James Jeggo, Jean Carlos Solórzano, Harry Kewell, Fabio, Lawrence Thomas and Ante Čović.
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.
In November 2012, Durakovic was appointed as senior technical director at Victorian Premier League club South Melbourne.
From 2013 to 2015, Durakovic holds the post as manager and head coach of Selangor FA, the team he had played for in the 1990s. Durakovic managed to bring Selangor FA to become the runners-up in the 2014 Malaysian Super League, quarter-finalist of the 2014 Malaysian Cup. He also signed former Indonesian international football player, Andik Vermansyah from Persebaya 1927 and former Australian international football player Robert Cornthwaite from Jeonnam Dragons for the 2015 Malaysian Super League season as well as Leandro Dos Santos from T-Team F.C. and Guilherme de Paula Lucrécio from FC Milsami Orhei. In 2015, Durakovic steered Selangor their 33rd Malaysia Cup title as well as finishing runner-up again in the Super League.
In February 2017, Durakovic took over as the head coach of another Malaysian Super League side, Perak FA after the club terminated the contract of their former head coach, Karl-Heinz Weigang.
In October 2018, he brings Perak to the final and win the 92th Malaysia Cup against Terengganu with a score of 3-3.

Coaching statistics


As player
With Australia:
With Brunswick Juventus:
With South Melbourne FC:
With Selangor FA:
As coach/manager
With Selangor FA:
With Perak TBG F.C.
Personal Honours: