His trip from Ghana to the Bundesliga

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By Matias Bengolo

From playing on his local clay court to forgetting his shoes for his biggest tryout, this is Kelvin Ofori’s journey to German football.

Kelvin Ofori. Photo: SC Paderborn

Kelvin Ofori was born on July 27, 2001 in Kumasi, Ghana, to his mother Mary, who sold plastic bags, and to his father Michael, an auto mechanic. How was he given the “right to dream”?

His right to dream – 2011 to 2019

He joined the “Right to Dream” organization in 2011 and played there until 2019. Founded in 1999, Right to Dream started out as a small group of boys and then evolved into a boarding school and training center. The company is free to join and mainly offers opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It started in Ghana but now has facilities in Egypt and Denmark. Ghana’s Right to Dream program travels regularly to Europe and competes in the Manchester United Premier Cup, where all ages take on youth teams from Manchester United, Juventus, PSG and Real Madrid. In 2015, Right to Dream won the entire cup for the first time in its history. If players can’t find a club, they get scholarships in the US or UK.

Fortuna Düsseldorf – 2019 to 2021

Ofori was on trial with German club Fortuna Düsseldorf. He arrived late on July 17, 2019 after a 48 hour journey that started in Marrakech, Casablanca to London, Munich and finally Maria Alm, Austria where Fortuna was doing their pre-season training camp. After some confusion Ofori came to his huge tryout with no boots, Fortuna found a spare pair in a shed and they were a size and a half too big. Ofori was seen by a scout while playing on his local red clay court and before making his trip to Central Europe he filmed what his living conditions looked like. The video clip showed her one-story building and then her bedroom that housed her with her five siblings.

How he got his chance in Düsseldorf

After his successful try, Ofori was granted a full 90 minutes against Anderlecht in a friendly and scored the game-winning goal in the 78th minute, much to the delight of his father who had never seen his son play organized football before. , he recorded the entire match on his cell phone and clapped when Ofori brought the winner home. He made his first competitive appearance in a DFB-Pokal match at FC 08 Villingen – where he scored his first competitive goal. He then had the opportunity to play Bundesliga football, he made his debut in a game against Mainz 05 for 11 minutes that he will never forget.

SC Paderborn 07 – Contract 2021 to 2024

Ofori has now moved to Paderborn and he will certainly have many more opportunities after the departures of Christopher Antwi-Adjei and Marco Terrazzino. The left-footed cunning attacker can play in all three attacking positions.

His contract is for three years and with Sven Michel the only player who can really play as a left-winger at the moment, it may not be long before Kelvin Ofori becomes the first-choice winger.

Learn more about Paderborn

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