Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has become an ambassador for the GEMS Education and the ESM Football Academy in the UAE.
Yorke won an historic treble in his debut season with the Old Trafford outfit. He also featured for Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Sunderland in the Premier League.
“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 will begin in his role this month.
The former Trinidad and Tobago international is well-versed with the challenges facing footballers in small countries and hopes to use his experiences to guide young talent in the UAE.
“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.”