Melkemichel came to Sweden in 1975 after having been born in Turkey and then spending a five years living in Germany. He started playing for Syrianska FC in the team's second year of existence when they were still an amateur neighbourhood club. While working as a hairdresser he continued playing for the club for nine years as they advanced upwards through the Swedish football pyramid. When he took over as manager he only intended for it to be a short term thing to help the club out. But after winning the Swedish fourth tier with the club he remained in the position and then brought the team to top tier, Allsvenskan.