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Right to Dream Academy founder reveals primary ambition of coaching Hearts

Right to Dream Academy owner, Tom Vernon has disclosed he had the ambition of coaching Hearts of Oak following his arrival in Ghana years back.

Tom Vernon, who is considered as one of the most successful football administrators arrived in Ghana in 1999 when he was just 19-years.

Before establishing the famous Right to Dreams Academy, Tom Vernon had an attachment with Hearts of Oak and Great Olympics.

“It [Hearts of Oak] was really on top. I wasn’t a very good player, so in the UK it was really difficult to break in,” he told Joy Sports in all-access interview at the Right to Dream Academy in Akosombo.

“I’d done all my coaching badges and I wanted to work in the game. So I just had an idea, maybe if I go abroad, it’s not a new idea, especially for European coaches to go abroad and develop their skills.

“I got a connection actually directly to Harry Zakour [the Hearts of Oak CEO then]. He said, no problem, come down and observe.

“So I was there for six weeks and then it didn’t work out. Actually, I went to Olympics as well.

“I think at Olympics I was maybe 21. And then I did a little bit there and then I went back to Hearts for a little while.”

Reflecting on his 25-year journey with the academy, the Nordsjaelland chairman, disclosed it was good he had his football administration education here in Ghana rather coming down with ideas from abroad.

“I got a lot of mentors from there [Hearts of Oak]. One of my early mentors was Sir Cecil Jones.

“He liked me and he used to invite me around to the house. Herbert Addo was another really important mentor for me, and another former player of Hearts of Oak, Robert Tetteh.

“So I was lucky that I was in the ecosystem here and rather than coming with an idea from abroad.

“So I was like okay, this is how we do things here, I got somehow connected to the big names in Ghana football and they helped shape my ideas.”

Tom Vernon has now stepped down as Right to Dream CEO but still plays a role at the board level

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