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Apr 27, 2022   |  12:13PM AET

Yorke appointed Head Coach of A-Leagues All Stars for Barca clash

Yorke appointed Head Coach of A-Leagues All Stars for Barca clash

Former Sydney FC marquee has been appointed head coach of the
A-Leagues All Stars to take on Barcelona, writes Tom Smithies.

Seventeen years ago he played a starring role in the launch of the A-Leagues – now Dwight Yorke is to return here for an All-Starring role as coach against Barcelona.

Yorke, 50, has been appointed head coach of the A-Leagues All Stars team which will take on the Spanish giants on May 25 at Accor Stadium, keen to reprise the success he had with Sydney FC in the competition’s first season.

Yorke, who recently completed his UEFA Pro Licence coaching qualification, described his appointment as “an honour” as he prepared to lock horns with Barca once more – famously scoring at their Nou Camp stadium in the Champions League in 1999.

It’s believed that Yorke will be assisted by several locally-based coaches for the assignment which marks the return of the All-Stars team for the first time since 2014.

Dwight Yorke celebrates after winning the A-Leagues Grand Final with Sydney FC in 2006.

“I loved playing in the A-League at its inception and I cannot wait to be back in front of the fans in Sydney,” said Yorke. “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the A-League’s best men’s talent against one of the world’s biggest clubs and it is an honour to be welcomed back to Australia for this role.

“I’m ready (to coach). It’s in the DNA, the passion is there. I’ve had the (playing) experience, I’ve been there, I’ve done it, I’ve brought the T-shirt.

“I’ve played at the highest level in every department, been in some successful dressing rooms and some not so successful dressing rooms.”

Though details of the squad selection have yet to be released, Yorke is expected to have significant input in conjunction with his assistants.

A number of his team-mates from the Sydney FC team that won the first A-Leagues crown in 2005-06 are now involved in coaching in the A-League Men and are in prime position to offer further advice – including Steve Corica at Sydney FC, Ufuk Talay at Wellington Phoenix and Mark Rudan at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Yorke has made no secret of his coaching ambitions, with Sir Alex Ferguson among those who have endorsed him after his goals helped propel Manchester United to Champions League glory under Ferguson in 1999.

Yorke takes on Barcelona for Manchester United in 1998.

In 2005 he signed for Sydney and duly delivered on and off the pitch for the club dubbed Bling FC – including the pass from which Corica scored the winner in the first Grand Final.

“Dwight is the ideal person for this position – a former player with an incredible footballing pedigree and first hand experience of playing Australian football,” said A-Leagues CEO Danny Townsend. “The All Stars are back for the first time since 2014 and we are going to put on the best possible show for fans in Sydney.”

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