BYS is a soccer academy for youth in Plumtree, Zimbabwe. The soccer talent in Plumtree has been outstanding for decades, but young players have struggled to find platforms to showcase their skills and connect with international universities and professional teams. BYS Academy provides the resources that young underprivileged soccer players need to make their academic and athletic dreams come true. The Academy currently has two teams in Plumtree, Zimbabwe– U8 and U16 boys – a U18 team in the future. The academy added a U10 girls in 2019.
BYS aims to identify, nurture, and manage Africa’s youth soccer talent by ensuring that all Africans get equal opportunities in regards to training and scouting exposure.
The Academy intends to set the benchmark for youth football administration standards in Africa. BYS strives in every way to become a leader in the development of young soccer players by continually raising the standards of players and coaches in Africa’s diverse countries.
Lucky Mkosana is the founder of BYS Academy and a native of Plumtree, Zimbabwe. Lucky started playing soccer at the age of 5. He was scouted by Dartmouth College soccer coach, Jeff Cook, in 2007 during a two-day soccer showcase in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe organized by Methembe Ndlovu, a Dartmouth alum and co-founder of Grassroot Soccer. Lucky was 1 of 2 out of 44 players to be selected from the showcase, which allowed him the opportunity to play soccer in the United States at Kimball Union Academy, and later at Dartmouth.
Lucky played soccer at Dartmouth College where he was the all-time leading scorer. Shortly after graduating in 2012, he was drafted 23rd overall in the MLS by the Chicago Fire. During an offseason break, Lucky traveled back to Zimbabwe in 2015 and was devastated by the continued lack of training resources and infrastructure for young soccer players. He also learned that without the support to play soccer, several talented young players in the community had turned to drugs and crime. This inspired him to register BYS Academy as a way to give back to his community, providing a platform for young soccer players to discover and fulfill their dreams.
In 2015, Lucky was signed by the New York Cosmos where he won two National American Soccer League titles. He earned his MBA in Sports Management from the Real Madrid Graduate School (online) while playing for IFK Mariehamn, Finland in 2017. Lucky was called to join the Zimbabwe national team in August of 2018 and is currently playing for Tampa Bay Rowdies in Florida, USA.
Jory Kahan is a BYS co-founder, and the Academy’s medical director and community project advisor. He is a native of Norwich, Vermont.
Jory has always been interested in global health and soccer. Jory volunteered with Grassroot Soccer in high school, an organization that uses soccer to help educate communities in Sub Saharan Africa about HIV/AIDS.
Jory played college soccer at Wesleyan University where he was a 3-year starting center back and captain of an undefeated team that, won the NESCAC league. Jory received the Roger Maynard Award as the best scholar-athlete at Wesleyan and was an ESPN Academic All-American.
After college, Jory taught high school math and was the varsity high school soccer coach at St. Andrew’s School. In his first and only year as head coach, he was named Delaware State Coach of the Year. He left teaching and coaching to attend medical school.
Jory attended Tufts University School of Medicine where he received his medical degree and masters in public health and traveled on multiple medical missions abroad. He is currently an Orthopaedic Surgery resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital and feels that BYS is a natural way to bring his love of soccer and global health together.
Tawanda Keseke is a BYS co-founder and the director of football programs, player and coach development for the Academy. He is a native of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and also the founder of Together We Are 1 Academy.
Tawanda developed a passion for soccer when he was a young boy. He played on the streets with friends and strangers and then for several local men’s league teams while in primary and high school. After high school, Tawanda joined Highlanders Football club U23 team and was soon given the opportunity to join the Kenyon College Lords in 2006.
Tawanda lettered all four years at Kenyon College. He also fell in love with coaching and managing, a passion that was enhanced by his USSF & UEFA A licensed mentor and Kenyon College coach, Chris Brown.
Tawanda graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in African History and Sociology. He pursued a Masters in Business Administration and was the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for the men’s soccer program at Webber International University. He started managing full time in 2011.
Tawanda is the 2016 Wells Fargo & Major League Soccer Community MVP for Orlando. He was also selected to be a 2016 recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Foundation and brings lots of helpful knowledge and experience to BYS.