Dwight Yorke’s bid to return to the A-League as the coach of Melbourne Victory has received a ringing endorsement from his former Sydney FC teammate Terry McFlynn.
Yorke, who ignited the A-League in its debut season before savage budget cuts at Sydney FC precipitated his departure, has thrown his hat into the ring along with caretaker coach Mehmet Durakovic and a host of others.
Sydney FC skipper McFlynn, who played alongside Yorke in Sydney’s midfield as the club stormed to the inaugural A-league crown, told The World Game: “Dwight would make a fantastic coach. He played at the top level for so many years and he is a great student of the game.
“His knowledge is immense and he is a leader on and off the field. He leads by example and I have no doubt he’d be a huge success as a coach.”
Yorke , 39, who captained Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup, is currently on coaching staff at Manchester United working with the first team and youth team and has gained a UEFA B licence.
He would need an A licence, either through UEFA or the Asian Football Cconfederation, to coach in the A-League, though indications from within head office are that he might be given extra time to gain the necessary qualifications because of the kudos his return to Australia would bring to the competition.
While unofficially it is understood the game’s rulers would do what they can to aid his return should Victory decide to offer him the post, the official line is rather less compromising with Football Federation Australia saying in a statement: “As Melbourne Victory have not formally approached the FFA in regards to appointing a new coach we cannot speculate on the suitability of candidates until they are presented to us which includes information like their CV, coach education and coaching history.”
“FFA coaching standards have been coming into effect since the introduction of the FFA National Curriculum in November 2007.
“While we have seen cases such as Ian Ferguson taking over from Dave Mitchell at Perth Glory, licences need to be completed in order attain the coaching qualifications implemented by (technical director) Han Berger and his team to ensure Australia continues to strive towards the highest level of coaching from national teams through to grassroots.”
Yorke, who sees the job as the first rung on the ladder to a full-time career as a coach, was assistant coach to Ricky Sbragia at Sunderland after Roy Keane's departure from the club in 2008.
McFlynn added: “Dwight has a huge personality and is great to be around. His infectious enthusiasm for everything he does rubs off on those around him, so for coaching he’d be perfect.
“The A-league needs characters and quality individuals and the more we have of those people will only be a good thing for the game. Dwight certainly fits into that category.”