A-Leagues All Stars manager Dwight Yorke is confident that his exploits will help champion the state of Australian football.
The former Sydney FC striker, typically regarded as one of the highest-caliber players to ply his trade his the A-League Men’s competition, is confident that the current class of players will shine a positive light on the sport in the country as a whole.
“I have got an idea as to how the players have been selected, obviously it is the best players in Australia, which is a start because they are the best in the country and you have got a pool to pick from,” said Yorke when speaking to Kick360.
“It’s an opportunity for these young players to prove their worth against a world-class team, one of the best teams in world football even to this day.
“I’m excited by that, I think the public will get involved in terms of some of the players, so I will do my assessment in terms of the players, I have a month to make sure I get a list.
“I will be able to watch one or two games in that period of time, but I don’t want to kill myself in terms of getting all of the players involved, but whatever players I get to work with will be sufficient enough to make sure that we fully prepare to take on Barcelona on the night.”
Yorke provided an insight as to how the squad will be selected for the one-off game, saying that
“There will be a panel of people representing the Australian A-League [Men] teams that will come up with the best players.
“My role as the head coach with the players that I have been given is to make sure that the team is fully prepared to take on a star-studded Barcelona team, and that we are competitive enough to make sure we put on a great performance and hopefully the fans will come to the game and walk away from the game being satisfied with a good showing and good organisation and most of all try and entertain them at the same time.
“Ultimately, we are trying to win the game, we know that it is a difficult task but that is my role as the manager.”
The former Premier League striker provided an optimistic view on the current state of football within Australia, naming the pandemic as the main problem stunting its growth.
Yorke called members of the Australian public to action, encouraging fans to journey to Accor Stadium to indulge on some of the best talents the country has to offer.
“There will be a positive outlook because we know that the pandemic in the last couple of years has really hampered sports development, not just in Australia, but throughout the world as well.
“The impact with the pandemic is crucial, we know that know Australia is opening up again, people are back out into the streets, back into workplaces, and this is an opportunity for people to come out and interact with football.
“The crowds have not been out there simply because of the pandemic, this is an opportunity for people to come out again and embrace the game of football at the highest level, with the best players in the A-League against the Barcelona team.
“I think that’s exciting, and for me, that is what it is about, we know how people in Australia and people in Sydney, how sports-enthusiastic they are.
“I’m really excited by that, and I’m sure that the people of Australia are excited about that.
An ambassador for Manchester United, Yorke played a key role in drawing his former club Down Under.
Alongside the Red Devils, fellow Premier League sides Aston Villa, Leeds United and Crystal Palace will venture to Australia, alongside Barcelona.
The ex-Sky Blues attacker is excited for what this upcoming Australian winter will hold for the sport, believing it to be a potential watershed for The Beautiful Game and affirming the sport is good hands moving forward.
“The pandemic has really made life difficult for a lot of people, I’m sure Australia is open now, Manchester United are coming into town, despite a difficult season, still the biggest club in world football.
“It will be in Melbourne, I think it is an opportunity for Melbourne Victory to play against a world-class team, probably one of the best players in the world in [Cristiano] Ronaldo of course, so the fans will come out in their numbers no doubt to support that game.
“It’s a big opportunity, Australia is a long way from the world of football in terms of getting access to these Premier League teams.
“I know a lot of people follow the Premier League down there, so they will have a chance to see Manchester United up close, Crystal Palace up close. It’s a great opportunity for all of the Australians to come out and support such an event, there is no doubt that will happen.
“Football needs an injection down there, there is no secret about that, the crowds are down, not sure how Australia are doing in terms of world football because I know that they have some qualification [games] that they need to qualify for the World Cup.
“I think that Football Australia are doing a great job trying to get the attraction back into football, and this is a good first step with Manchester United and Crystal Palace, as well as the All Stars game to come in Sydney.
“It’s a good time to be involved with football in Australia.”
The A-Leagues All Stars will take on FC Barcelona at Accor Stadium on May 25, with kick-off scheduled for 7:30pm.