|By KIERAN JONES
Former Melbourne Victory coach Mehmet Durakovic has returned to football, accepting an appointment as senior technical director at Victorian Premier League club South Melbourne.
Durakovic will be responsible for a revamped youth program at the club, as well as working closely with senior coaching staff to develop the club's football operations.
Durakovic played 231 games for South Melbourne in two stints and is a member of the club's team of the century, and said he was excited by his new role.
"I'm looking forward to coming home to South Melbourne and quite excited with the opportunity," Durakovic said.
Durakovic said he would oversee a curriculum which will "help develop the football stars of tomorrow".
The former defender was capped 64 times for Australia and also had spells at Sydney Olympic and Gippsland Falcons, and his managerial career includes time as coach of Victory and Port Melbourne.
Durakovic was caretaker coach at the Victory in 2011 after the firing of Ernie Merrick, before being appointed to the position on a full-time basis for the 2011-12 season.
After seven months in the job, Durakovic was sacked in January 2012 when Victory won only three of its first 14 games.
South Melbourne president Leo Athanasakis said the club were delighted to welcome back a club legend and the appointment was a sign of the club's commitment to expanding its management structure.
"South Melbourne is raising the bar even higher by investing in its football infrastructure," Athanasakis said.
"He will be working on a full time basis overseeing the football operations of the club and working closely with the youth development technical director and the senior coach."
Durakovic's NSL career spanned five clubs and 360 matches over 15 years.