Former Manchester City and Barcelona midfielder pays special visit to Ribble Valley school
And part of that was a five day stay at Moorland as youngsters from across the school got to train with the four time African Player of the Year.
He teamed up with academy director Charlie Jackson and former Manchester United youngster John Cofie, who is now back working at his old school as a mentor, to put the kids through their paces.
Yaya – who also won the Champions League with Barcelona – had been taking steps towards a career in coaching at the nearby Blackburn Rovers FC, educational partner of Moorland School.
And much to the delight of children and staff, when the request came in from Blackburn for Yaya to make the short journey over to Moorland the school gladly accepted.
Toure – who won the Premier League three times with City – said: “Moorland is a Magnificent School, I was very grateful to share this experience with the kids and the coaches.
“It was a great week and I had a lot of fun, hanging out with the kids. It’s been brilliant and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“Charlie and John were really good with me and to be able to have this time with the kids is really special for me.
“I’ve just tried to share my experience as a footballer with them, which was brilliant for me.
“I really appreciate it and I hope they appreciate it as well. I hope to be able to see them again soon.”
Academy director Jackson was thrilled to be reunited with Toure – who he had met before as he also works at the City Football Academy.
Yaya worked particularly with the Under -12s and Under-16s, the area in which he needed to gain the most experience having never coached these age groups had previously.
Jackson said: “I knew from meeting him at City that Yaya was a great guy and that his attitude and ethos would be ideal to help develop the students here at the academy. Our training at
Moorland School develops each player extensively on a technical level and as individuals.
“Being able to give them the opportunity to meet their heroes works wonders to inject a huge boost of confidence and passion into the sport they play every day.
“I can’t thank Yaya enough for his time and professionalism every minute we spent with him. It’s something that will be remembered here for years to come.”
“As an example of guest coaches to come, he couldn’t have been a better representative of what we are aiming to achieve with this programme within the Academy.”
Even Cofie – who played alongside stars like Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison during his playing days – was impressed and he forged a strong bond with the ex-City man.
He said: “Yaya is like a god to me. It was simply a dream.”
Moorland headteacher Jonathan Harrison surprised both Jackson and Cofie when he revealed Yaya would be joining them for a few days. Afterwards he said: “What an experience it was for us to have a huge international football star with us.
“The most impressive and humbling part of it was how genuinely warm, enthusiastic, caring, patient and unassuming Yaya was with the children, staff and visitors.
“He’s an incredible human being both on and off the pitch and I hope he will always consider our school as a humble home among friends.”
During his visit, Toure also spent some invaluable mentoring time with the senior students. Engaging in detailed conversations about life choices, favourites, mistakes and everything in between.
Yaya had been an open book on his illustrious career of success, yet conversations were described as humble, informative and passionate, leaving all students at the School in awe but inspired in their footballing journeys.
Teacher Jack Atkinson added: “It was a humbling experience for us all. Yaya was lovely with the children.
“It was unforgettable to have him in the school and the students loved having him. He seemed genuinely sorry to be going on his last day.”
Staff hope the visit of Toure will help to inspire their teams to greater success in the months ahead.
Moorland are the current Lancashire and ISFA National champions of England and this month saw three players called up for international duty.
And Toure’s visit was part of an extensive programme of activities planned – including trips, guest coaches and other once in a lifetime experiences.