Dwight Yorke gives tips to local youngsters

In an environment far from where some of the most glorious moments of his career took place but somewhat similar to where he first played the game, Dwight Yorke kicked the ball around under the gleaming sun.

The former Manchester United star and arguably the greatest Caribbean footballer shared tips with young footballers between their matches at the Academy Sports Club Mini Slam Cup on 23 January.

“This is where it all started,” said Yorke, the retired Trinidad and Tobago international, who scored 96 goals from 1998 to 2002 for Manchester United.

“When you are young, you have to enjoy it, be disciplined with it, dedicate yourself to these sports. Those are the things that I found helped me prolong my career and this is the advice that I would want to pass on to some of the young kids here.”

As the players to breaks from playing, Yorke imparted his knowledge on them as he led some of them in drills. He also shared his rise to fame from the small island of Tobago.

“Some of them probably have aspirations to go on to be professional in that career. I’m living proof to these kids. I come from the Caribbean. I never thought that I was going to make it to the level that I did but there is hope,” said the forward, who also had 19 goals for his country.

He pointed out to them that the road to glory is easier these days but that it must be paved with discipline and dedication.

“These kids have got hope…back in my day, it was difficult to get in. So, these kids if they are serious, they are going to dedicate, enjoy themselves. They’ve got to be disciplined. All the stuff that I had go through and endure as a young kid, these kids have to do the same and dedicate themselves to the sport,” the 45 year-old said.

He also busied himself posing for pictures and signing autographs while on a visit with the English FA Cup trophy, of which his former club are the current holders. While he hardly had a moment for himself, Yorke also had his eye on the pitch.

“One girl, in particular, she caught my eye. She was outstanding and there were a couple of kids,” he said, although he quickly added that he’s no scout.

“We’ve seen that potential so many times,” the Trinidad and Tobago native said. “The Caribbean has always been a place that is full of talent and it’s just the right mentality.”

He stressed to the young players that if they wanted to succeed in the sport, they need to be disciplined.

“There are players who have tons of ability but if they don’t have the right mentality and if they don’t have discipline and their work ethic [is poor] and they’re not working hard, then that’s not going to take you very far. If you combine those things, you got half a chance.”

Paul Byles of Academy Sports Club said having Yorke present along with the FA Cup was a big deal, thanks to sponsors Flow.

“It means a lot because of how it inspires the kids [and] they can see this kind of thing, they can be next to it and feel like they are a part of the football world in a true sense because it’s here,” he said.

“To meet him – some of them have watched him on TV and to be able to sit next to him or stand next to him and take a picture, it helps to inspire them, it gives them confidence and makes them feel good. That’s what we want. We want to make kids feel very happy about football and everything that they associate with football,” Byles added.

Flow’s Head of Marketing, Julie Hutton, was pleased with how the event turned out. “It’s been absolutely fabulous. [Dwight] has worked this crowd today. He’s played with the kids, he’s taken photographs with everybody. He’s chatted with people. What a great ambassador he is for Man United,” she said.

“From a Flow perspective, it worked out like a dream. Our partnership with Manchester United and also Academy Sports Club to hold this Mini Slam has been absolutely phenomenal,” Hutton added.

Read additional story about the tournament here.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Fun flows at 2nd Mini Slam Cup – Cayman Sports Buzz

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