Welcome to our brand new Academy, based in Ghana!
Academy 11, was founded in 2019, out of the desire for GFP to have a more direct and meaningful impact on the development of youth football in Ghana. The Academy channels player motivation for the game to ensure the children fully participate in school, giving them an education foundation for the rest of their lives – whether they make it as players or not.
As the Academy was launched in an area where there was very limited access for kids to play football, we have had a great impact on the area. Through our partnership with St Timothy’s High School, where the academy trains, we are investing in improvements for the sports field for the benefit of everyone in the community.
We have hired 3 local coaches on a full-time basis and have put together a mentorship program for them. The program will improve their overall coaching ability and knowledge, with a focus on communication, organization and psychological skills. We hope to give the coaches all the skills to help them develop a career and, more importantly, to develop the players of the future. The coaches are paid a wage that allows them to live sustainably, which has a positive impact for them and their families.
We officially launched Academy 11 in December 2019.
The main mission of Academy 11 is to improve each person and player in all areas of their life. Education will be the foundation, along with teamwork, leadership, morals and standards. We want to give all the players a good base for their future aspirations.
With the great success of the trials, we were able to create 4 teams: U10’s, U12’s, U13’s and U17’s. Across those teams we are coaching over 90 players within a short space of time.
To play for Academy 11, the players have to attend school and this is monitored on a weekly basis. If the player cannot attend school for any reason, we will support the player and his/her needs to get them back into school.
Academy 11 teams practice 2 hours a day, 4 times a week, with a match each weekend.
Director of Football – James Francis
James, has been in Ghana since January 2019. He is originally from the UK. He is there to oversee and develop the academy on a full time basis. James is the U17 coach for Academy 11
Coach Wahab – U13’s Head Coach (Head Coach at Tudu Mighty Jets – Ghana 1st Division – CAF C licence holder)
Coach Derrick – U12’s Head Coach
Coach Ben – U10’s Head Coach and Club Goalkeeper coach
U10 Boys – 7v7 with 20 players
U12 Boys – 9v9 with 25 players
U13 Boys – 11v11 with 25 players
U17 Boys – 11v11 with 20 players
St Timothy Senior High and Vocational School
We have partnered with the school and we work closely with the Head Teacher, to improve the playing field and surrounding areas for the school, Academy 11 and community to benefit from the improvements.
Improvements so far – We have replaced gates and raised walls to make it secure and safer for all to use. We have leveled the main 11-a-side field to improve the playing/training surface.
Future development plans – Next to the 11-a-side field there is a 7 a side field which needs to be developed. Also there is more space for a brand new field. We aim to build seating for players, coaches and parents and to install a container for equipment.
Developing the player as a whole will improve each individual player over the long-term and short-term results will not be a focus for the club. We want to prepare the players for full-time academies, Ghana Premier and 1st/2nd Division teams and in the future possible moves to Europe or the USA. We are developing a network within Ghana and Europe that will give the players the platform to be scouted by professional clubs.
However, for many becoming a professional player will not be possible, so we want to ensure players continue their education and have options as they grow. Currently, we monitor attendance of the players. However, by building stronger relationships with schools and teachers we want to be able to monitor grades and through football we hope to influence the player to achieve and excel during their school years.
There are limited coaching courses in Ghana as of the present. We intend to try to bridge that gap by opening up our coach mentorship program to coaches based in the Accra area. We hope to have a wider impact by developing the coaches and therefore the players they coach presently and in the future.