The Rugby League Federation Ghana (RLFG) yesterday 31st October 2021 announced a long-term partnership with English rugby league side Salford Red Devils which will see the six-time Super League champions support the development of rugby league in Ghana.
Though the deal will see the Red Devils providing coach and player development programmes whilst supporting the marketing and promotion of the sport in the country. The main feature of the partnership is the ‘Salford Red Devils Ghana National Rugby League Development Centre’ which will see three development coaches funded by the club.
The three development coaches will be invited to Salford in mid-2022 to experience an elite rugby league environment. They will work with the coaching staff, observe training sessions, look at the club’s systems and visit our community clubs and schools to be fully immersed in the clubs’ environment.
The club will also be observing the players developing in the programmes in Ghana, with opportunities to join the Red Devils’ player pathway scheme where appropriate.
Salford Red Devils staff will then visit Ghana later in 2022, to deliver training sessions, work with players and staff and support the development work.
The Red Devils will also provide mentoring and technical advice to coaches as well as share best practices on training, strength and conditioning programmes, nutrition advice and more.
Salford Red Devils Director, Paul Trainor, added: “We are delighted to launch this partnership supporting the development of Rugby League in Ghana. There is already great work going on in Ghana from Remond, Andy, Jafaru and the rest of the RLFG committee, with increasing numbers playing the game in established competitions, national media coverage together with school and community programmes. We look forward to working with RLFG to continue to raise the profile of Rugby League across Ghana, as well as contributing to the success of the national team.”
Remond Safi, MEA Regional Director, said: “This partnership will pave way to a new era in RLFG and Africa, the partnership will embrace a rugby league culture in Ghana capturing the raw talent of the next generation.
The relationship will add value to the foundation of the sport in Africa and open opportunities for players, coaching/match officials and administrative pathways.
Salford Red Devils embarking on this unique partnership with Ghana is setting a blueprint for the others to follow with an ambition of being innovative within, bringing new audience and developing new experiences for fans and the sport.”
Andy Gilvary, Ghana National Team Coach, commented: “The significance of this partnership has come at exactly the right time for Ghana. With more players, volunteers, clubs, and supporters than ever before, Salford will be able to steer the next generation of rugby league enthusiasts in the country.
“The hope is, we will see Ghanaian players representing Salford in the Super League at some point in the future along with the club identity being embedded across the nation. Ghana remains committed to being the number one rugby league playing nation in Africa and we know Salford will help us to get there.”
Jafaru Mustapha, RLFG General Manager, added: “Rugby League Federation Ghana, our players, staff and community cannot wait to get started with the Red Devils. We look forward to welcoming them to Accra and showing Salford our progress since 2012, with next year being our 10th year in the game, we are ready to learn all we can from the club and make big strides in 2022.”
Salford Red Devils Executive Chairman, Paul King, said: “Ghana has a tremendous history of producing world-class athletes across many sporting arenas, the opportunity to be able to tap into this incredible talent pool whilst also introducing the Salford brand to over 30 million new pairs of eyes is tremendously exciting.
We are committing time, energy, and resources to this partnership to ensure its success over a prolonged period and are delighted to lead the way with the first arrangement of its type on the African continent.”
The deal will also see the Salford Red Devils providing a joint branded range of kits for players and staff over in Ghana designed by their kit suppliers, VX3. Replica kit will also be sent over to RLFG staff to distribute in the communities.