Ghanaian coach Jeff Ofori making waves in Sweden …targets grass-root football development
Jeef Ofori, may not have been one of the popular names you often hear in coaching, but that narration would soon change as he continues to work his way to the top brass.
The 35-year-old young Sweden-based Ghanaian – with a strong passion and commitment to grass-root football and player development, dreams of taking his coaching career to the highest level.
After featuring for three Swedish lower division sides, the former steely centre-back, now works as youth developer for one of the biggest clubs in Sweden – Brommapojkarna FC, which Under-16 side he handles as head coach.
Brommapojkarna (the Bromma boys) or simply BP, is a Swedish football club located in the borough of Bromma, in the western parts of Stockholm municipality. The club is the largest in Europe in terms of the number of active teams of all ages – in 2007 there were 247 teams and 3,000 players. The women’s team plays in Damallsvenskan, the first tier, while the men’s team features in the Allsvenskan, the first tier.
Before joining Brommapojkarna, Ofori – from 2020-2022, coached the U-16 side of FOC Farsta FC and performed creditably in one of the world’s biggest tournaments– the Gothia Cup, in 2022.
According to the UEFA Licence C holder, even though youth development can be challenging, that is where his passion lies.
“Developing youth players can be challenging, because young players are rarely consistent. They may make huge strides forward, before reverting to previous behaviours that had seemed to be long gone.
“Their confidence is easily knocked, which can have a major impact on performance. But that is why you’re there to work on and bring them back to glow again. This calls for patience and a whole-hearted commitment to the task to succeed,” he told the Times Sports yesterday.
Ofori who sojourned to Sweden in 2010, started his football with Mandela FC before joining a Division One League (DOL) side – Juventus FC, all in Ghana.
In Sweden, he featured prominently for BagarmossenKärrtorp in the Division 3 SödraSvealand (which is the fifth tier of Swedish football), where he capped 100 times. He also played for Arlanda FC Division 2 (NorraSvealand) and FOC Farsta FC, also in the NorraSvealand.
Bent on contributing to Ghana’s grass-root football development, the former formidable centre-back now owns a third division club in the Eastern region of the country named Apedwa Wolf FC.
He said his aim was to build Ghana football into an intimidating force from the grassroots, whilst aiming at top-flight football.
Ofori advised youth development coaches to exhibit a substantial amount of patience to be able to mould talents into big names.
“Indeed, player development can be a slow process. The young ones make mistakes; and may even make the same mistakes over and over again before they learn.
“Results can go against you, even in matches you should have won. It takes vast reserves of patience and acceptance to deal with these hardships and move on, without taking it out on the players,” he added.
BY JOHN VIGAH