Hot-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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Minister Murray Coell presented 17 high school graduates with a Premier’s Excellence Award in recognition of their academic achievements, community service and involvement in extra-curricular activities.Brittney O’Neill of Fort St. John was one of the award recipients. Each student received a commemorative medal and $15,000 to attend a public post-secondary institution in B.C. In December 2005, the government tripled the amount of the scholarships for the first time since the Premier’s Excellence Awards were established in 1986. To-date more than $2.3 million has been awarded to 343 students.Brittney O’Neill graduated from North Peace secondary school in Fort St. John. She achieved the principal’s honour roll annually, achieving straight A’s on all report cards and receiving seven course-specific top student awards in Grade 11. She was on the Work Ethic Honour Roll in Grade 7 through Grade 12 for her dedication, willingness and co-operation in classes and won the Bert Bowes Outstanding Student Award in Grade 10 for good work ethic, school involvement and high grades. – Advertisement -Brittney was a member of the Stand Up Club (advocating tolerance in her school) and toured with the campaign My Strength is Not for Hurting to talk to elementary school children about stopping violence against women and girls. She participated in her school newspaper, as well as the Socratic Philosophy Club, her grad committee and the Seeds of Learning trip to El Salvador to build a school. Brittney studied piano for eight years and won first place in the Annual Peace Gallery North Fine Arts competition in 2007. She is enrolled at the University of Victoria and would like to become an ESL teacher overseas while working for humanitarian causes.