(CMC) – Legendary striker Dwight Yorke says he is “concerned” that outstanding Trinidadians like himself, Brian Lara and Russell Latapy have not been given the opportunity to contribute to the region’s sports development.
The 48-year-old former Aston Villa and Manchester United star, a member of the historic Trinidad and Tobago side which qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, said he remained available to lend his expertise in the football fraternity but said he has never been approached to do so.
“I’ve been very fortunate. Football has given me everything beyond my imagination as a young boy growing up,” Yorke told i95FM here.
“I would always love to contribute to my country the experience that I’ve gained at the level I’ve played for so many years. You would have thought I would have been involved in Trinidad and Tobago football certainly in the future.
“For everyone who’s listening, I’ve always wanted to contribute to my country, I always want to help. I feel with the experience and knowledge I’ve got I could certainly help out in some capacity. However, that hasn’t happened, I haven’t been approached.”
Yorke, who scored 26 times in 72 appearances for T&T, said Lara and Latapy also had not been allowed to give of their vast expertise and experience after having contributed so much during their careers.
Lara, a former West Indies captain, is considered the finest player of his era, and still holds world records for the highest Test and first class score.
Latapy, meanwhile, became the first-ever Trinidadian to play in the Champions League when he turned out for Porto, before going on to represent Scottish giants Rangers.
“It does make me feel a little bit concerned that someone like Brian Lara, who is the most accomplished cricketer in West Indies, hasn’t got a role in West Indies cricket,” Yorke pointed out.
“Why would you not want to pick his brain, his knowledge of why he’s been such a success? I find that really baffling with people trying to undermine someone like him because of what he has done over the years and it’s probably the same for Russell Latapy who’s been out there for a number of years.
“People will say we’re friends but the reality is there is no greater accomplishment than Lara, myself and Latapy. Why would you not use that to your benefit and I find that very, very strange when other countries would love to use our expertise in trying to find out what it takes, what it means … to be out there.
“We have all this experience and knowledge and nobody has been able to put it to use.”
Yorke scored 97 goals in nearly appearances for Aston Villa to become a club favourite before joining Manchester United in 1998 for a then-record fee of £12.6M sterling.
He formed part of a famed strike partnership with Andy Cole, netting 65 goals in 147 outings for the English giants, helping them win the storied treble in 1999.
Yorke, now based in Dubai, has involved himself mostly in media punditry following his playing career but said he was currently trying to break into the world of football management.
“I’m actually trying to get into coaching here which is another challenging part of my career. It’s a different challenge now,” he explained.
“The challenge was to break in as a black player in the UK. I managed to do that and now I have to fight extremely hard and … it’s the same thing coming into management. You have to fight extremely hard to get a look-in to it.
“You just have to look around the world; it’s very challenging. I’m not ashamed to say it – the black aspiring managers are not getting a look-in. You look in the Premier League and you look around globally.”