In May 2013, Right to Dream (RtD), a Ghanaian based football academy with a considerable record of producing migrant professional football players, opened the first residential girls’ football academy in Africa. Following its purchase of the Danish Superliga team FC (FCN) in late 2015, FCN and RtD announced their intention to launch a woman’s football academy in 2018, to establish a team in the elite women’s league in Denmark the following year and to pursue entry into the Women’s Champions League by 2023. These developments are remarkable in the context of both Afro-European football migration and the emergence of transnational pathways for female African players seeking professional football careers in Europe. This study presents preliminary findings on how this arrangement came about; what its key objectives are and how these will be operationalised into the future; and crucially, how young Ghanaian girls imagine the possibilities of transnational mobility through football, how they act to produce this and how the RtD/FCN collaboration might facilitate it. The paper is based on three bouts of ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana, Sweden and Denmark which involved interviews with the first cohort of girls recruited by RtD (n.16), key personnel involved in the inception and development of the academy in Ghana (n. 7) and the core staff who will lead the Women’s academy in Denmark.
|Title of host publication||23rd Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science|
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2018|