Ja’s Bailey on UEFA’s Golden Boy shortlist

first_imgHot-shot Jamaican striker Leon Bailey celebrated his nomination for the prestigious UEFA Golden Boy award with a first-half goal in KRC Genk’s 3-1 win over Italian outfit Sassuolo in the Europa League yesterday.Bailey, 19, continued his rise as one of European football’s most prized youngsters after being named on the 40-man shortlist, which contains the most impressive under-21 players on the continent.The UEFA Golden Boy award is presented by sports journalists to the most impressive young footballer in Europe and has, in the past, been handed to the likes of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero of Manchester City, Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, Alexander Pato of Villarreal, Mario Balotelli of French club Nice, and another Jamaican-born player, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.HOGGINGHEADLINESBailey has been hogging headlines in Belgium and across wider Europe after a string of impressive performances for his club, which has also seen him linked to several major clubs in England, Spain, and Italy.The attacker, who is yet to be capped by Jamaica’s senior team, scored in the 25th minute to cap a day that saw him listed among the likes of household names Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa (Inter Milan), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Kingsley Coman, Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Amadou Diawara (Napoli) and Marco Asensio (Real Madrid).Yesterday’s net shaker improved Bailey’s seasonal return to seven goals and four assists in eight games in all competitions.He played a key role in Genk’s qualification to the Europa League after bagging seven goals and serving up 11 assists in a breakout season last year, which saw him receiving the nod as the best young player in the Belgian top flight.Bailey is the poster boy of Craig Butler’s Pheonix Academy, which has its roots in Jamaica but has had considerable success in sourcing the European market with young Jamaican talent, which also includes Butler’s son Kyle, who is also in the Genk system.andre.lowe@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

Ched Evans allowed to train with Sheffield United following PFA request

first_img Ched Evans 1 Sheffield United have confirmed they will allow convicted rapist Ched Evans to begin training with them following a request from the Professional Footballers’ Association.The Blades announced in a lengthy statement on Tuesday evening that the club’s board had decided to agree to the PFA’s request, following the 25-year-old’s release last month after serving two-and-a-half years for rape.The statement said, though, that the club were “not prepared at this time” to make a decision on whether to re-sign Evans.United said his return to training would be “with a view to enabling Mr Evans to get back to a level of fitness, which might enable him to find employment in his chosen trade.“This request has come to the club, because it is the last club at which Mr Evans was registered before his conviction.”The club’s board of directors took into consideration the views of staff at the club, the Football League and the PFA, as well as Blades supporters and the general public in their decision to allow him to train with them.The board also considered the public statements made by the PFA and Evans, whom they spoke to during their deliberations.Evans’ return has been met with outrage by campaign groups, with the group End Violence Against Women Coalition saying it was “appalled”.United listed four considerations which their statement said informed the decision to let Evans return.They said the club “condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms” and considers “rape, the crime for which Mr Evans was convicted, to be a heinous crime worthy of serious punishment as provided under law”.It added: “The club has been assured by Mr Evans that he shares these value judgements.”United said they did not “question Mr Evans’ conviction for rape”, but pointed out his punishment “was consistent with applicable law”, that he had “completed the custodial portion of his sentence as provided under law, having demonstrated good behaviour while in custody” and “been paroled on licence conditions, which do not restrict him from returning to service in professional football”.They also said “same justice system that tried, convicted and punished Mr Evans under law also provides for his rehabilitation under law”.The club said they agreed with the PFA that “professional footballers should be treated as equals before the law, including in circumstances where they seek to return to work following periods of incarceration”.“In a nation of laws, served by an elected parliament and duly constituted courts of law, there can be no place for ‘mob justice’,” they added.United also said that Evans was seeking to clear his name before the Criminal Cases Review Commission and, if permitted, the appellate courts, but said it took “no view on the merits of” and had “no role in, any such appeal”.They added: “The club’s decision to allow Mr Evans to train at the club’s facilities is based on the facts as they stand today and is in no way dependent on the perceived merits or outcome of the appeal.”last_img read more