Back in June of 2022, Daniel Barfoot, a Christian footballer, then playing for Moyola Park, went on a missionary trip to Senegal on the west-coast of Africa with the Ambassador’s Football Ireland group, having been scouted by organizer Derek Livingston.
The trip lasted ten days and the aim of the trip was to share their beliefs and faith through football by coaching kids and playing matches against professional academies, including the one that started the development of former Liverpool and current Bayern Munich star, Sadio Mane.
Speaking on his experience of the culture in Africa, Daniel explains how different city life and village life were, especially the village life. Daniel says, “Village life was very slow moving and chilled out, but it was weird seeing people living in mud-huts but then they’d have the newest iPhone and air-pods, it was a bit unexpected.” When asked about the city life, he explained how hectic the roads are and called them, “a car-crash waiting to happen, nobody seemed to care if their car got hit.” Daniel also explains how Senegal is a predominantly Muslim country compared to Northern Ireland, which is predominantly Christian, and experiencing Islamic calls to prayer in cities and villages was a new culture shock to him.
Daniel says he would 100% do it again and when asked about the experience in general, he describes it as, “life-changing and to be able to play football and mix it with my identity in Christ is a massive opportunity for me and to learn so much from the older fellas in the team has certainly helped me massively.”