Fifteen and counting ...Butler brags about international exports

July 24, 2017
Leon Bailey

Jamaican clubs can experience the same level of success as the Phoenix All Stars Football Academy if they believe in their young players and stop limiting their potential according to the club's owner Craig Butler.

Butler boasted that Phoenix Academy has exported more than 15 players to clubs in European leagues and are doing well.

He promised that things are about to get even better as he has an even more promising batch coming through the ranks of the academy.

"We made a promise to our young players that if they stick together and work hard, they will become professional players and regardless of what I had to deal with over the years, we now have 15 players in Europe playing professional football, and counting, as we have two more to sign before the transfer window closes," he told STAR Sports.

Among the Phoenix transfers are Bayer Leverkusen winger, Leon Bailey. Bailey is the most high profile player the academy has traded.

Very focus

Butler's son Kyle Butler just signed to Belgian team Standard Liege and Butler noted that other players Kevon Atkinson and Travis Blagrove are also their mark in the Maltese League.

"I am very pleased to say Kyle Butler has signed for ... a top four Belgium club, and he will show the world what he can do. He has been training hard and he is very focus and we expect it to be a good season for him," Butler said.

"Kevon Reid played here in the Premier League for Sporting Central, he scored four goals in three games before I pulled him.. He is now in Malta tearing up the Maltese League but this is what we set out to do years ago against all those odds," he insisted.

Butler, who has signaled his intent to run for the JFF presidency next month believes young local players are suffering because of a lack of vision and belief in them from local football administrators and directors.

"We limit our players and their potential. We take mediocre contracts and don't push our players to be the best they can. We don't believe in them. People used to say Jamaicans are big, strong and fast but not good technically but Europe's eyes are opening up and this crop (of Phoenix Academy players) are going to be even better than the first one," he said.

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