But­ler:‘Happy Leon will be play­ing in the fi­nal’

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - DANIEL WHEELER STAR Writer

Phoenix Foot­ball Academy CEO Craig But­ler has a lot to be proud of th­ese days, pri­mar­ily about the re­cent suc­cess that his client and son Ja­maican in­ter­na­tional Leon Bailey has made.

The Bayer Lev­erkusen for­ward wel­comed the birth of his first child on June 14 and and has con­trib­uted reg­u­larly to Lev­erkusen’s push for a Cham­pi­ons League spot, adding an as­sist in their 3-1 win over FC Koln last Wed­nes­day.

Ad­di­tion­ally, he

will be pre­par­ing for his first ma­jor cup fi­nal when his club faces Ger­man cham­pi­ons Bay­ern Mu­nich in the 2020 Ger­man Cup fi­nal at the Olympias­ta­dion in Ber­lin on July 4. But­ler says that he is proud of the 22-year-old’s re­cent good for­tune.

“I’m ex­cited about the fact that we will have a Ja­maican play­ing in the club fi­nal. I’m ex­cited that Leon has been able to shrug of his in­juries and [de­spite] a rough sea­son still come through,” But­ler told STAR Sports.

His rough sea­son in­cluded miss­ing games due to in­jury prob­lems and sus­pen­sions. He has reg­is­tered five goals and three as­sists in 21 league ap­pear­ances with Lev­erkusen this sea­son, who are in fifth place with 60 points, two points adrift from a top four fin­ish and with one game re­main­ing. While he did not fea­ture in the Ger­man Cup semi-fi­nal win against Saar­brucken on June 9, But­ler says that for him to be play­ing in his first ma­jor cup fi­nal is a great feat.

EX­TREME AC­COM­PLISH­MENT

“This is, I think, the first Ja­maican to reach that level where he is play­ing in a cup fi­nal in the one of the leagues in the world. So for us, it’s an ex­treme ac­com­plish­ment,” he said. “He has re­claimed his start­ing spot, re­cov­ered from his in­juries, had a baby, and con­tin­ues to make all of us at Phoenix and, by ex­ten­sion, Ja­maica very proud.”

Bailey will still have games to play when the do­mes­tic sea­son con­cludes, as the Europa league an­nounced their re­turn plans re­cently.

The sec­ond leg of all round-of-16 ties will be played in Au­gust, with the com­pe­ti­tion to be com­pleted that month. Bayer Lev­erkusen cur­rently lead their tie against Scot­tish club Rangers 3-1 on ag­gre­gate, with Bailey get­ting on the score­sheet in the first leg in Glas­gow, Scot­land.

AP

Bayer Lev­erkusen’s Leon Bailey (left) cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing dur­ing the Ger­man Bun­desliga match against Borus­sia Dort­mund in Lev­erkusen, Ger­many, on Fe­bru­ary 8.

Craig But­ler

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.