Hat-trick hero’s dream debut

Medin Memeti completed a dream senior's debut with a game-turning hat-trick for Melbourne City's NPL2 side. 333711_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

In a cracking NPL2 debut, a Dandenong teen has blazed a quick-fire hat-trick to lead a thrilling comeback victory for Melbourne City.

Starting as a substitute on 7 May, 15-year-old Medin Memeti entered the fray at the 55-minute mark, with his team down 0-2 against Brunswick.

In little time, Medin changed the course of the match, striking goals in the 70th, 86th and 89th minutes for a 3-2 win.

Training with Melbourne City Academy, Medin felt a few nerves playing men for the first time.

“I was a bit nervous when I saw the players. But when I got my first goal my confidence got up a bit. I was full of energy.

“I wasn’t trying to take people on, I just took my opportunities.”

Now he’s dealing with his hat-trick going viral on Melbourne City’s social media as well as his proud uncle and Greater Dandenong councillor Jim Memeti’s Facebook page.

“It’s given me a headache. My phone has been going off on Instagram with these new followers and texts.”

Blessed with speed, strength and height, the fast-rising striker has already notched many big bags of goals, including a career-high eight for MCFC Under 18s against Mornington this year.

Two years ago, he caught the eye of Melbourne City talent scouts while playing for Dandenong Thunder Under 14s where he scored an incredible 52 goals in 20 games.

In his first season with Melbourne City Under 16s last year, he was top goal-scorer with 16 goals in nine games.

So far in Under 18s this year, he’s netted 16 in just six matches before his NPL2 promotion.

“I’m calm (in front of goal). I’m never scared to take on a player, I always back myself.”

Soccer talent runs deep in the family, with Medin hoping to follow the example of older brother Mersim who played for Australia’s Under 17s.

His father Mark carved a playing career at Dandenong Thunder, now he jokes that he is now his son’s “taxi driver” to training four times a week as well as matches.

Mark’s key advice for his son is to train hard and to focus.

Medin represented Victoria Under 15s last year, and played for Melbourne City in the JSSL Professional Academy 7s tournament in Singapore.

After such a dream seniors debut, Medin aspires to play the big leagues in England, Italy or France.

Being part of a reigning A-League premier club with ties to powerhouse Manchester City, the pathway is there for him.

“I want to try out for A-League as soon as possible, to get game time and prove myself.”