Buckswood Director of Football, Daryl Willard, recently travelled to Ghana to meet the British High Commissioner and the Ghanaian Football Association to work with Mirage Football Academic, sharing his coaching and educational experience with a group of 20 gifted and talented young Ghanaians.
The visit saw the signing of an agreement between Mirage Football and Buckswood to create the Mirage Buckswood Foundation, to support young people in Ghana through education and football in orphanages, schools and football clubs. The inaugural visit saw Daryl visit an orphanage with Save the Children and a school and build awareness of the Mirage Buckswood tournament.
Daryl spent the week coaching and managing the squad in the tournament in training and mentoring sessions. He said: “My week in Ghana was an incredible experience to see players from such disadvantaged backgrounds with such a love and passion for the game. The talent is endless and I hope to make this an annual trip to exchange ideas and give advice on how to recruit and develop young professionals.”
Buckswood got involved in the project through Daryl’s connections whilst working at Chelsea FC. Mirage’s owner and Director, Seth Nana Twumasi (who played for Chelsea up until 2010), has kept in touch with Daryl since their time at the club together, and has been looking for the right opportunity to work together on his Ghanaian project. Mirage Football scout, recruit and develop young players in Ghana and have achieved success since their beginning in 2010. One of Mirage’s players was wanted by Barcelona FC, and has now since signed with New York FC.
The new link with Buckswood School has opened up a new avenue for Ghanaian talent and, with the backing of the British High Commissioner and the Ghanaian FA, the partnership will be open for the foreseeable future.