Mehmet gets Victory nod

Melbourne Victory have confirmed that Mehmet Durakovic, the club's caretaker coach for the past three months, has won the full-time role in charge of the club.

Melbourne Victory have confirmed that Mehmet Durakovic, the club's caretaker coach for the past three months, has won the full-time role in charge of the club.

Durakovic oversaw the final five matches of Melbourne's AFC Champions League campaign, leading them to a win, three draws and a loss after the sudden departure of foundation coach Ernie Merrick.

The 45-year-old had been Victory's youth coach before being given his chance to audition for the job in the ACL, where his tactical nous won praise from those both inside and outside the club.

After an almost complete changing of the guard in the football department, Durakovic's former South Melbourne and Socceroos team-mate Francis Awaritefe has been appointed as football director.

"In Mehmet and Francis, we have two young and respected former Socceroos who we believe will take this club to the next level - both domestically and in Asia. They have extensive experience in Australian football and are both incredibly driven to succeed," Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro said.

"Mehmet did a fantastic job in a short space of time to transform our recent AFC Champions League campaign and demonstrated to the Board, that his managerial and coaching skills were of the quality we were seeking."

"The way Mehmet presented throughout the process was second to none and it became clear that he was the right person to take the club forward."

Former West Ham and Reading goalkeeper Steve Mautone and former skipper Kevin Muscat are the only other previous members of the football department to remain.

Durakovic is highly regarded in the Australian football community having represented his country 64 times and played for nearly 20 years in both the former NSL, mainly with South Melbourne, as well as spending three years in Malaysia.

He takes on a Victory outfit which will enter a season without Muscat for the first time.

The club is set to take on a very new-look this season having already signed a new keeper, Tando Velaphi, two young attacking midfielders, Marco Rojas and Isaka Cernak, as well as a striker in Jean Carlos Solorzano.

But the biggest signing in the club's history is still in the wings with Harry Kewell linked to the club in what would be his much-anticipated return to Australia.

Kewell, one of the most popular players in the country, has never played senior club football in Australia.