EXCLUSIVE: Experienced Australian coach Ron Smith has spoken about Mehmet Durakovic's reaction to his axe at Melbourne Victory, saying with precious few A-League jobs available local coaches should be given more of a chance.
Former Ipswich and QPR boss Jim Magilton takes his first official training session as interim Victory boss tomorrow following a tumultuous week.
Former Socceroo Mehmet Durakovic was sacked after last Wednesday’s 2-0 loss in Gosford and the Northern Irishman arrived in Melbourne on Saturday.
Smith, 62, is a mentor to many coaches in this country and has spoken to Durakovic since the axe fell.
He said that while he has nothing against a career coach like Magilton, 42, taking the Victory job, he knows how the local coaches must feel.
“I know the frustration. I know what local coaches go through to even get half a chance to work in the A-League at youth level or senior level,” Smith told au.fourfourtwo.com.
“The time and effort to get coaching qualifications and experience… to be there in a holding pattern waiting for an opportunity that might come up.
“I know what the attitude is like for so many coaches in this country who’d jump at the opportunity to have a go.”
However, Smith felt that Magilton will do well at Victory alongside assistant coach Kevin Muscat.
As for Victory’s ex-coach, Smith said he’d spoken with him about the sacking.
“I shared a few of my feelings about getting sacked and it takes a long time to get over but you have to dust yourself off and look for opportunities.
“The reality is; anyone can get sacked. While initially you feel wounded and hurt, you have to get over it and be a bit philosophical.”
Malaysia could be an option for Durakovic. He is held in high regard there after a storied playing career in the mid-90s and he’s maintained connections there.
“Undoubtedly he’d be keen to coach again, but as you would expect, he’s extremely disappointed and a bit shattered,” said Smith.
Smith added that he bore Magilton no ill will and did not blame him in the slightest for taking a job with a club that is generally regarded as the biggest in the country.
“I know his name but he’s not somebody who I know personally or had any particular interest in,” Smith added.
“If we take Jim out of the equation on a personal level, I’d keep advocating there are so few jobs in Australia that we ought to look to give people opportunities within Australia to coach.
“That goes across the board at any particular club in the A-League. There are so many people here and the local coaches have shown that given opportunity to get their toe in the water, they’ve done okay.”
With this in mind, this week, au.fourfourtwo.com will put out our 10 most up and coming Australian coaches with the talent bank starting to increase as former Socceroos begin their coaching journeys.
Given Magilton’s job is on an interim basis, some have suggested a local coach would’ve been the easier option till the end of the season.
“There’s nothing wrong with that point of view,” said Smith. “I guess it’s just down to the views of the people making the appointments.
"If you’re not a coach yourself it’s sometimes difficult to make a decision.
“There are no guarantees in football,” added Smith, who was sacked by Perth Glory but has since worked on game analysis software and is developing a coaching app.
“But there are so few jobs in Australia that we ought to give local coaches the first opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Victory entertain Adelaide United on Friday night with the Reds themselves under new coaching management in former Socceroo John Kosmina.
It will be Magilton’s first game in charge. Another win for the blue half of Melbourne and their finals campaign will be back on track following last week’s three pointer over the Jets.
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