I’m a very colourful person. Honest, critical, and optimistic. But amidst the successful history of football in Ghana, are so many unanswered questions as to the absence and 38 years between our last senior triumphs (1982 AFCON).
In between this period we’ve had paramount success at youth level in winning the FIFA World Cup on 3 occasions, and we’ve had stars at all levels. Stars and icons of the game, club legends, those who now work in the administration of the game, and those who have transcending the game by way of conversation. Players of the likes of Abedi Pele, Yeboah, Kuffour, Lloyd Owusu, Essien, Buffour, Appiah, and Prince Boateng.
Spanning in leagues across Europe as well as coaching and recruitment. There’s a new generation emerging! With top coaches, scouts and backroom staff who have made a name for themselves with their expertise, and ability to identify and develop talent across Europe. (Bob Oteng of Brentford FC inset)
This is without discussing journalists and personalities who have raised the platform to which we stand on. They’ve emerged as have young talents across the academy and now the international scene. But all aside this is an undetected wave. A wave and generation of players, both of men and women who are now successfully making the transition from Ghana to Europe.
It would be admissible to say gone are the days of players failing to make the transition. But the success of transition has increased. The beacon of that success today is Thomas Partey, and with European giants Ajax making 19 year old Mohammed Kudus their €9m acquisition from Nordsjaelland, it spells the intent and possible pathways for Ghanaians. Not known to many outside of Africa, the Danish outfit are owned by the Right to Dream academy in Ghana. The academy has notable success stories which you will find on the alumni page – Right to Dream Academy Alumni. (Inset, players to the left who have graduated from RTD to play in the MLS)
But question. How does it work? And why does it work?
We caught up with Richard Glemawu who is a product of the Right to Dream academy and alumni in our 17th episode of the Team Ghana EU Podcast. Now in the US on a scholarship with dreams and aspirations of graduating from college with a bright future. The program covers all bases of providing education, holistic and sporting opportunity. Whether philanthropy, providing opportunity or seeing an opportunity and a gap in the market. It’s a pathway that is beginning to thrive (BBC article – Nordsjaelland new model for developing African talent)
As with investment from the Football Federation and Government. Europe as with Africa has seen foreign ownership sweep the continent with both success, failure, and question marks over its system. It’s evolving as we speak.
Clubs from Europe have set up centres, clubs or affiliations. And in the Ghana Premier League. Inter Allies FC with investment from outside Ghana have not only been very successful in recent years, but have a good record in developing talents. Namely Joseph Aidoo of Celta Vigo who’s just come off the back of a very good debut season in La Liga. One of many stories.
In what is now a part of our system. Unofficially our system. For both men’s and women’s football, is this the future of our football in Ghana? How does it evolve? And what does it look like in 5/10/15/20 years time?
Written by Andrew Mensah-Twumasi @andrewmensahjr (IG/Twitter)
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