The Right to Dream Academy’s partnership with Tullow Ghana has yielded its first major impact with the Academy’s Under-14 team embarking on a 10-week European tour.
Tullow Ghana’s investment in Africa’s leading football academy, announced last week, is the cornerstone of the company’s agenda for creating shared prosperity through sport.
The investment, which is for at least three years, will provide significant support to RtD’s vision of offering talented, underprivileged children the opportunity to fulfill their true potential in life – through football, education and character development – and in so doing claim a better future for their communities and country.
The RtD U-14s departed from the Academy on Wednesday, 26th March. Their European Tour will include games in Portugal, Netherlands and the UK.
The tour will see the U-14s play against some top European teams, including Manchester City, Chelsea, FC Porto, Benfica, among others.
The team, which has been dubbed: “RtD’s Golden Generation,” is made up of seventeen students, along with Head Coach, Frazer Robertson, Assistant Coach, Kenya Umar, and Physiotherapist, Richard Evans.
The European tour represents an important development opportunity for the students. Along with their daily football training, the boys will be continuing their education and taking part in a number of cultural visits, as well as learning to cope with the European food and weather.
RtD U-14 Tour Captain, Ernest Boahene, commented: “We are excited to be undertaking this tour. We plan to make the most out of the opportunity RtD and Tullow have created for us, to develop our skills and knowledge.
“We are going to be playing against some top European teams. The success of the trip will be determined by our teamwork and the care we will give to each other. I know we will represent RtD well, and demonstrate some of the talent and potential of Africa.
“For all of us, it is our first time visiting Europe. We look forward to experiencing the different cultures, the food and even the weather. But it is also about providing an understanding of our African culture to the people and teams we meet.”
The trip will be another major step in the development of the players who have been honing their skills at RtD for the past four years.
RtD’s U-15 and U18 teams have undertaken several successful European tours in the past, but this will be the first time that a U-14 team will be going to Europe. There is a lot of expectation – as the recent RtD European tours have seen the U15 and U18 teams win 45 out 47 matches.
Looking ahead to the tour, RtD Technical Director, Gareth Henderby, commented: “It will be a great experience for the boys, they have been working very hard over the years to have individually earned this opportunity.
“The tour will be a real test for them to display social awareness, self-discipline and passion for what really matters to them.
“The dedication and team work they will put into their upcoming games will go a long way to develop them as young footballers and strong, self-disciplined characters.”
The RtD U14s European Tour begins with games against top Portuguese sides: Estoril, Benfica and Porto.