FORMER Socceroos captain Paul Wade says he would be offended if Sydney FC opted to give former Manchester United star and Sky Blues favourite Dwight Yorke its next coaching job over an Australian.
Wade believes the Sky Blues should ignore the fanfare that would come with the appointment of an overseas coach and instead look to enhance the character and special attributes of the players in the A-League -- something he says an Australian knows how to do.
Yorke, a huge hit when he played for Sydney FC in the inaugural season of the A-League in 2005-06, is the latest high-profile former player to put his hand up for the job, which will become vacant when Vitezslav Lavicka steps down at the end of the season.
The Weekend Australian revealed on Saturday that former Inter Milan, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough striker Benito Carbone is also keen on the Sydney job, joining a list of candidates that is growing by the day. The names of Central Coast boss Graham Arnold, Brisbane Roar's Ange Postecoglou, Branko Culina, Tony Popovic and former Italian and Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola have all been thrown into the mix.
Yorke, who is about to take up an assistant coach's role with Manchester United, told a Sunday newspaper he was "absolutely interested" in coming back to coach Sydney. "I've been there as a player and know what success is all about at Sydney," Yorke said.
"I also think it's the right time, at 40, to start as a manager. With the experience of 24 years as a player and having played the game at the highest level, I think I could offer something special to Sydney."
But Wade, who is now a sought after motivational speaker and runs junior coaching clinics, is far from convinced.
"Let's get this straight, there is nothing personal or sinister in what I am saying," Wade said. "Sydney need to ensure they get results first and foremost. The fans want their team winning matches.
"Let's not insult them by throwing someone in for the fanfare or whatever they bring off the field.
"We've got all these highly qualified coaches who can't get a job. I have nothing against the imports, but I want to see an Aussie coach being able to put his qualifications to use. Should Yorke be given the job? Nah. If he is it would only be an emotional fit to be honest.
"It would be a slap in the face for the locals and I would be offended if they gave it to him ahead of an Australian."
Wade rattled off a list of coaches he would like to see considered for the job, including former Melbourne Victory mentor Ernie Merrick, now coaching the Hong Kong national team, former AIS head coach Steve O'Connor and Arnold.
"Stop with the bling and give us some Aussie spirit, coupled with our natural ability, enthusiasm and character," Wade said.