Football: Duric starts six-month coaching stint with A-League side Melbourne City

Aleksandar Duric will shadow the various departments in Melbourne City to learn more about their business operation model, youth development programmes as well as community engagement initiatives and events.
Aleksandar Duric will shadow the various departments in Melbourne City to learn more about their business operation model, youth development programmes as well as community engagement initiatives and events.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former Singapore international Aleksandar Duric has joined Melbourne City FC for a six-month stint to learn the ropes of running a football club.

Duric, who is the principal of the ActiveSG Football Academy, was seconded to the Australian club last Friday.

He will shadow the various departments in the club to learn more about their business operation model, youth development programmes as well as community engagement initiatives and events.

Calling it an "opportunity of a lifetime", the 48-year-old aims to build strong connections with officials and pick up new skills to boost the youth football fraternity in Singapore.

Said Duric: "It's a huge club over here, there's so much to learn from them. And I'm in Victoria, a state that is crazy over football - where better to learn how to run a club?

"I want to find out how they reach out to the schools here, how they get sponsorships, how their coaching system works so I can go back and improve the quality of coaching in the grassroots."

Duric hopes his partnership with Melbourne City will be an opening to future opportunities for local players to train with the club.

"The connections I want to make, they're not just for me, but for the players and coaches too, so that they can have more opportunities outside Singapore," he said.

ActiveSG assistant director (partnership and pathways development) Lim Tong Hai, who is a former national defender, will deputise for Duric in his absence at the academy.

Established in 2016, the academy provides young players aged three to 17 with training sessions up to three times a week for a fee of $130 per season. There are 10 training centres across the island.

The academy currently has over 1,000 players - up from 600 in their first year of operation.