Former Melbourne Victory coach Mehmet Durakovic says the door is open for him to return to Victoria after reigniting his career in Malaysia in the past four years.
Durakovic’s first responsibility of managing a major team ended quickly in A-League season 2011/12, when Victory were expected to dominate the league but finished eighth.
After being shown the door halfway into the season, things have since looked bright for Durakovic, who returned to coach Malaysian Super League side Selangor where he won three Malaysian Cups as a player in the 1990s.
In January he was appointed Perak coach after he had success managing Selangor, winning the 2015 Malaysian Cup and narrowly missing out on winning the league title in 2014 and 2015.
The former Socceroo, who is currently back in Australia due to the Ramadan break, is advocating for his former club, South Melbourne’s induction into the A-League and is open to return to Australia.
“Absolutely open to return, it’s only seven hours to come back when time comes, I’ll call it quits and see what happens here,” Durakovic said at the South Melbourne VIP dinner on Tuesday.
“At the moment I’m very happy over there and making a living like all the other coaches.
“I would never say anything bad about Melbourne Victory. What do you do? It happens, it happens. You move on and I’ve left a door open there, it happens and we move on.
“You learn from your mistakes and you get older, better and hopefully, one day you never know what’ll happen but I’ve got good friends and Victory.
"The board members were brilliant to me, that’s football, you move on and you can’t hold grudges.”
Durakovic said since his spell at Victory, he has matured vastly as a coach and was also open for a role at South if FFA give them the green light to come into the top division.
Five years on, he feels his departure at Victory won’t put any potential Australian jobs in jeopardy after enjoying good times in Malaysia.
“As a coach you’re one game away from getting the sack so it is what it is, maybe it wasn’t at the right time at the club,” he said.
“I thought it was but it wasn’t and move on. As a coach your job is all about getting results and three points and that didn’t happen so it was time for me to go, no problem.
“You never know, for me if I were to come back I’d like to come back to Victoria and my family is here. If I want to be interstate I might as well be overseas to be honest. I miss home and we’ll see, you never know.”
Chairman of South’s A-League bid board Bill Papastergiadis is confident Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos will manage the club once they get into the A-League.
Durakovic said his former club “has everything” including the money, supporters and facilities to be able to rival Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City in football’s top flight.
“Roberto was a legend as a footballer, he’s back into coaching and was at one of the biggest clubs in the world as a director of football,” Durakovic said.
“To have him as part of our club, that would be fantastic for everybody, for the A-League, South and general supporters.
"As a coach myself, we need to help and learn from each other as much as we can so bringing in Roberto that would be fantastic.”