Dwight Yorke has emerged a surprise runner in the race for the Aberdeen job.
And the Manchester United legend is hoping a managerial mentorship from Sir Alex Ferguson might fast-track him into serious contention for the Pittodrie hotseat. Record Sport can reveal Yorke’s representatives have been in contact with Dons chairman Dave Cormack in the last 48 hours, following the decision to sack Jim Goodwin immediately after Saturday’s 6-0 thrashing at Hibs.
Yorke and assistant boss Russell Latapy are looking to engineer a quick return to European football after a shock exit from Australian A League outfit Macarthur FC just last week - despite leading the minnows to the Aussie FA Cup and qualifying for the Asian Champions League in their first seven months in the job. Yorke’s impressive achievements were recognised by Sir Alex who even travelled to Sydney to congratulate the 51-year-old in person after seeing his apprentice lift a first trophy in management.
And the former Old Trafford striker is now hoping that Ferguson’s huge influence in the North East - and close personal relationship with Cormack - can help open the door to a first crack at a role in the UK.
Cormack has placed Barry Robson in interim charge of the first team as the club reels from the embarrassment of that Easter Road routing, which came hot on the heels of a historic Scottish Cup humiliation in Darvel. And the US based businessman is determined not to be rushed into making a snap appointment as he ploughs through a huge list of potential candidates.
Yorke’s CV landed on Cormack’s desk on Monday and it’s understood the man in charge will take time to weigh up all available options before compiling a final shortlist of contenders. But, although the Trinidad and Tobago international would have to be considered as a long shot compared to the likes of early front runners like Chris Wilder, Neil Lennon, Jack Ross and Paul Lambert - a personal endorsement from Ferguson could catapult him into Cormack’s consideration.
Yorke also has a Scottish link in his backroom team having appointed former Rangers and Hibs maverick Latapy as his right hand man in Australia. It’s understood Yorke would bring his long term pal and compatriot with him to Aberdeen were he to be the successful applicant.
Macarthur currently sit in sixth position in Australia’s top flight, ten points behind runaway leaders Melbourne City but only five points off second placed Central Coast Mariners. Yorke is believed to have left the club under a cloud after a fall-out with the club’s owners and now harbours ambitions to return to the British game, where he became a household name as a prolific goalscorer at Aston Villa and United.
Yorke spent four trophy-laden years working under Ferguson between 1998 and 2002, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League and an FA Cup. And the pair have remained close friends ever since. Ferguson was visiting Melbourne in October last year when Yorke led Macarthur to the club’s first ever silverware.
The man who led Aberdeen to Cup Winners’ Cup glory in Gothenburg, sent a message to congratulate Yorke before travelling more than 400 miles across the country to meet with him in person at the club’s training ground in New South Wales. Yorke said at the time: “I learned from the master in Sir Alex Ferguson. Funnily enough, he’s here in Australia at the moment, which is great. I saw him yesterday and after he congratulated me on the trophy, straight away he told me to focus on getting the next one!
“Winning is in my DNA and I’m lucky to have been managed by the greatest of all time, and it’s also nice to have him challenging me to become the best manager that I can be. After winning the Australian Cup, the expectation level around the club has definitely risen - which is exactly the reaction that I wanted from everyone associated with the club.
“Now is the time to work even harder. It’s a pleasant surprise that he’s here in the country. I treasure the relationship that I have with Sir Alex. But, he has been great to me. I can’t talk for others, but he has always been there for me. Yeah. To have that seal of approval from him encourages me to keep driving forward as a manager.”
SOURCE: Scottish Daily Record