Dwight Yorke is ready for his first assignment in management.
The former Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Sydney FC striker was today announced as the A-Leagues All Stars manager ahead of the game against Barcelona next month.
The honour is not lost on the former Trinidad and Tobago international, who is excited about the chance to commence his managerial career.
“It is a great honour, the fact that I came overhead of the other candidates who were in line for that position, so I want to thank Danny Townsend and Football Australia for the opportunity to take my first step into management,” Yorke said when speaking to Kick360.
“A lot of people know my affiliation with Australia and the A-League, and particularly with Sydney, so I’m over the moon to have this opportunity, even if it is just for a very short time, nevertheless I’m very grateful to make my first step into management.”
Despite having yet to make his debut in the dugout, Yorke is confident about the style of play he hopes to implement with the A-Leagues All Stars against the Blaugrana.
With the aim of exciting those in attendance, he hopes to implement an attacking style to take it up to the Spanish juggernauts, not daunted by the task of facing one of the best teams in world football.
“I have gathered some ideas and thoughts that you want to play, particularly in the modern-day game, the coaching philosophy, I don’t think any manager that I have come across tries to play a negative style of football.
“Everybody tries to play on the front foot, an attacking style of football, people pay a lot of money to come and get entertained at the highest level.
“That is one element of it, but also we have to have a clear understanding that there is a defensive element, and if we play an attacking style, you have to have the players to obviously conduct those particular styles.
“When I get there, I will be able to assess the players in a very short period of time, but I certainly have ideas with the way I would like to play.”
Having played under the likes of Graeme Souness, Graham Taylor and the great Sir Alex Ferguson during his playing career, Yorke was appreciative of the impact they made on him throughout his career.
These influences, along with the likes of former England manager Steve McClaren, incumbent Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, and long-term Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger have all been sources of inspirations for the All Stars boss.
However, he asserted he had his own distinct style separate from all of coaches, with his core values and ideas paramount in the way he hopes to set his team up come May 25.
“It would be silly of me for all of the years that I have been able to play at the top level and to have these managers’ experience that they have experienced [and ignore them], obviously no greater than Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I feel very lucky to have had those interactions, having done my Pro Licence in England, I have been able to catch up with Sir Alex Ferguson, people like Steve McClaren, [Gareth] Southgate, and recently I went to Qatar for the Arab Cup and worked behind the scenes with Arsène Wenger and Steve McClaren.
“My knowledge in football and having access to these top managers and being able to pick their brains, I feel very lucky and very privileged.
“When it is all said and done, with their experience and what they are saying, you have to implement your style and make sure that the players trust in what you are doing.
“I think that is a valid point to start your career on, so those are the things and ideas, but ultimately I have my own playing style and way to go about it, but I can always lean on the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson if I need to.”
After the sacking of Richard Garcia from Perth Glory last month, Yorke made it clear this opportunity did not include immediate thoughts of taking the job at HBF Park, rather ensuring his sole focus was on the current task at hand.
Yorke will go to Manchester to aid his preparation for the game, before flying out to Sydney to take charge of the All Stars’ first outing since 2014.
“There is no thought process. I think they just made it very clear in my trip down there to launch the Manchester United tour in Australia, I was asked the question about my Pro Licence, I told them exactly what my current status was.
“Then, that led up to ‘would you be interested in coming to Australia to manage?’
“I said ‘I would love to, I’d be open to ideas, if there’s an opportunity to come to Australia, it is something I would look at, Danny [Townsend] got in touch and that is when the conversation started.
“There is no particular process, it’s just an opportunity with the completion of my Pro Licence that I am ready to make that step into management.
“Even though this game is only for a short period of time, it is one that I am very happy about.
“Right now, instead of thinking of other jobs, this is the job that I am fully concentrating on, to make sure that the team is fully and well prepared going into this game.
“That is where my mindset is now, to do that I will head back to Manchester, do some more work there on the ground, get my boots on and get stuck in again, and try to put a game plan in process to make sure that we are ready to go when I get to Australia.”
The A-Leagues All Stars will take on FC Barcelona at Accor Stadium on May 25, with kick-off scheduled for 7:30pm.