James Francis, a UEFA B football coach from Clacton, will be academy director for six months at the Billa’s Future Stars Football Club, part of the Future Leaders Underprivileged Children’s Center in Accra, Ghana.
The main objective is to enhance and develop the football academy, which has a mission to ensure children get an education to give them better opportunities in life, by using football as a motivator.
James, 36, who coaches Cambridge United and previously coached teams in New York for two years, said: “Day to day I will be making sure the academy players are attending school, develop the club’s methodology, grow the female side of the club and build relationships with pro-academies and ethical agents to give the players a clear
“I will also work closely with the local coaches and directors to help the club become sustainable in the future.
“I have a had some great experiences on my journey so far in the UK and USA, and I can’t wait to help make an impact in Ghana, by enriching children’s lives through the power of the beautiful game.”
On January 21, the former Colbayns High School student will be travelling to Ghana in partnership with the Ghana Football Project.
He said: “I used to do sales and marketing but when I reached 30 I realised I wanted to do something I was passionate about.
“I got in to coaching to be able to make a difference and to develop children as people, as well as players.
“I am interested in this project as the children have to go to school to be able to play at the academy.
“We will be educating coaches and creating links with elite clubs.
“In America it’s a pay to play system, but in Ghana it’s a learn to play system which I find interesting. They have to actually go to school to be able to play.”
Some of the children are unable to get to school because of travel or finance issues.
He has set up a donation page to help fund his trip.
For more information, go to gofundme.com/education-to-play-ghana.