Dubai: Former Manchester United and Trinidad and Tobago forward Dwight Yorke has joined GEMS Education and the ESM Football Academy as an ambassador in the UAE.
The 45-year-old, who also played for Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Sunderland will start his role this month working with beginners to advanced players.
“As a member of the FIFA Development Committee, I am extremely passionate about helping young footballers achieve their immediate and long term goals,” said Yorke, who won the treble with United in 1999 scoring 52 in 96 appearances under Alex Ferguson from 1998 to 2002. “I can understand the challenges of playing football in a small country and really relate to their dreams of playing in the major football leagues around the world.
“Many young players and parents feel it’s not possible to have a future playing here in the UAE. I can tell you, coming from the Caribbean, anything is possible. To see what ESM Football Academy have been doing for the last 12 years in the UAE is very encouraging and it’s only going to get better. This is where it starts and we’ll be implementing the best options and methods for each player at the academy, to give them structure and the opportunity to have a bright future.”
GEMS Education and the ESM Football Academy have also partnered to launch the GEMS Football Cup in the GEMS Sport Series, which creates healthy and competitive sports among students within the GEMS network.
Sir Christopher Stone, chief education officer, GEMS Education, said: “Having a sports legend like Dwight Yorke as a mentor is every young footballer’s dream come true. At GEMS Education, we welcome this excellent opportunity to develop our students’ extra-curricular sporting skills.”
Managing Director at ESM Football Academy, James Bowring, said: “ESM Football will stick to its strong long-term vision of helping produce quality players in the UAE, and giving boys and girls the opportunities to consider a professional career in the ‘beautiful game’ post their studies.
“We all understand the importance of development of young players here in the UAE. Dwight Yorke will be a fantastic addition to our development programmes, offering an invaluable insight in to playing at the highest level. This experience and view point will benefit the talent we have here and help produce a new generation of players.”