About Us

Unearthing talent, providing education and fostering football excellence

An innovative international football Academy

Located near Durban in South Africa, the British Football Academy (BFA) is a high-performance international football academy dedicated to discovering and nurturing highly talented 14-18 years old boys – mainly from very socially disadvantaged backgrounds. We are committed to providing high-quality coaching and world class development opportunities. We search for talented players all over South Africa; then develop, fund and educate them. If they realise their footballing potential, the world really can be their oyster.

The Pathway to Professional Football

At BFA, we don’t just coach – we open doors. We pave a direct pathway for the most talented boys to turn their dreams into reality, offering opportunities to play professional football in the English Premier League, the English Football League Championship, or EFL Divisions 1 and 2. Our goal is to bridge the gap between untapped talent and professional football, fostering a vibrant platform for young footballers to soar.

Empowering Through Scholarships

Education and sport are two pillars of personal growth. Recognising this, we offer 12 football scholarships each academic year for study at the renowned Pinetown Boys’ High School. These scholarships serve as a stepping stone, combining high-quality education and top-tier football training to holistically develop our students.

A Global Reach

While the British Football Academy is independent and not directly attached to any professional club, our founders have built strong links with virtually every professional club in England, and a number across mainland Europe. This network enables our students to access a broader range of opportunities and gain exposure to international standards of football.

Our Commitment to Safety

We uphold the highest standards of safety and integrity, fully adhering to the regulations set by the South African Football Association. Our operations meet the Child Safeguarding Standards required by both the South African and English Football Associations. We prioritize our students’ well-being and are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for them to grow and flourish.

The British Football Academy Team

Get to know the highly skilled professionals guiding the future stars at the British Football Academy.

John Read

John has been visiting KwaZulu Natal for over 30 years, and lived/worked in Cape Town for a year and, given South Africa’s rich sporting pedigree, has always been surprised by how few South African footballers make it into the English Premier League. He’s a lifelong Manchester City fan who has worked extensively with the Football Association in England. He has also consulted for three other major international sports: rugby union, tennis and athletics. From 2000-2005, he was Director of Corporate Affairs for the England & Wales Cricket Board/England cricket team, and was responsible for all the marketing, media and political lobbying for the professional and grassroots game in England. John was International Campaign Director for HRH Princess Haya of Jordan, and created and implemented her election campaign in 126 countries, including South Africa – she was elected as the first ever Arab to become President of the International Equestrian Federation in 2006.

Peter Coyle

Peter has been a qualified solicitor in England since 1994 and his litigation practice has spanned the globe from Hong Kong in the east to Los Angeles in the west. A half-decent schoolboy footballer, but an obsessive adult supporter, Peter was always destined for a football development role. He fell in love with South Africa as a visitor to the 2010 World Cup.  Since 2010 Peter has been contributing financially to Ian Kilbride’s fantastic work with the Spirit Foundation in Cape Town.  Along with Ian and John, Peter can now help to bring some incredible South African football talent through to professional fruition in the UK. In his work as a sports lawyer Peter has built up a close and extensive network of high profile contacts within professional football. As a passionate believer in the power of education to change lives, Peter is as excited about the free scholarships being provided at Pinetown Boys’ High School as he is about the football talent destined for our UK shores.

Ian Kilbride

Ian Kilbride has been one of the leading figures in the business of private client asset management for well over 35 years. During the past four decades he has established, and or developed, numerous asset and wealth management operations, as well as built up a number of successful philanthropic foundations. In 2022 Kilbride was awarded an Honorary Professorship by Stellenbosch Business School, where he now lectures on Philanthropy as well as business in society, to the MBA, MPhil and visiting overseas students. In 1994, Kilbride established the Spirit Foundation in memory of his late sister Louise and as an acknowledgement of South Africa’s new democracy. This has grown over the last 30 years to act as the ‘philanthropic umbrella’ over three focused non-profit companies, these being the Spirit Education Foundation (SEF), Spirit Wildlife Foundation (SWF) and Spirit Community Foundation (SCF).

Siya Mnganga

Siya Mnganga has coached at every level in South Africa, except The Motsepe Foundation Championship. He’s coached from youth football, to the SAB league (4th tier football in South Africa) The ABC Motsepe League (3rd tier football) including clubs like Mainstay United (Northern Cape) Giyani Happy Boys (Limpopo). He has also worked with Premier Soccer League (PSL) team, Amazulu FC, and coached PSL reserve team side, Lamontville Golden Arrows. Siya holds the SAFA D License and also the CAF C License.