Bailey vows to represent Reggae Boyz with pride and dignity

By Sports Desk May 22, 2019
Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey. Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey sent a ripple of excitement through social media platforms after promising to wear the country’s national colours with pride and dignity.

The 21-year-old and his country’s football governors, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), were embroiled in a protracted dispute for the last couple of years, but recently announced the issues to be at an end.  The player has as a result been called up to a 40-man provisional team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and is expected to make his debut next month.

In previous seasons, talented young Jamaica was linked with a move to several top-flight clubs, including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.  Despite a slower season than his 2017-2018 campaign where he scored 12 goals, Bailey still netted five times as the team sealed fourth place and European football in the Bundesliga. 

With his full focus now on the national team, however, Bailey has promised to wear the Reggae Boyz colours with pride and further hopes to serve as a role model.

“I promise to wear the colours black green and gold with honour, pride, and dignity while aiming to be a positive role model for kids with a dream,” Bailey post via social media platform Instagram.

   Jamaica are set to open the Gold Cup on June 17 against Honduras in Kingston in the first Gold Cup match to be played in the Caribbean.

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    Jamaica women’s football coach Hue Menzies believes the team was badly hurt by its inexperience on the back of a 5-0 drubbing from Italy, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Saturday.

    A hat-trick from Cristiana Girelli (12th, 25th and 46th) and a brace from Aurora Galli left the Jamaican team searching for answers once again, particularly defensively, after another heavy defeat.

    Girelli got the Italians going from the penalty spot in the 12th minute after defender Allyson Swaby brought down Barbara Bonansea.  The shot was, however, only converted on a second attempt as Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider was penalised after a VAR review for moving off the line.  Girelli doubled the lead after latching on to the corner and beat Schneider to a header early in the second half.

      “Our inexperience showed.  We went out there and gave up a cheap goal.  I think it started from the first half with the penalty, it just bringing down the emotions of the players but hopefully, we can learn from this.  Hopefully, we can get more resources and play these types of games more often,” Menzies said.

    “Italy played with a lot of class a lot of commitment and a lot of discipline we need to take a page out of their book.  They are a well-coached team so a lot of respect goes out to them,” he added.

     

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  • 'Leon has been sizzling' - Reggae Boyz coach Whitmore impressed by 'fantastic' Bailey 'Leon has been sizzling' - Reggae Boyz coach Whitmore impressed by 'fantastic' Bailey

    Jamaica men’s football national coach Theodore Whitmore has admitted to being awed by the talent of the Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey but more so the player’s positive attitude and work ethic.

    The 21-year-old underwent a tumultuous couple of years relating to his involvement with the national, as a dispute with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) kept him off the field.  All that seems to be firmly behind the parties involved, however, as by all accounts, the player has fit into the Reggae Boyz squad with little fuss.

    “We've been very impressed with Leon Bailey from day one as his attitude around the group has been simply fantastic. He's definitely a team player and the group has embraced him very well. This was important given all the noise over the past few years around his selection to the national team,” the team’s head coach Theodore Whitmore told the Jamaica Observer.

    Bailey was expected to make his debut for the national team in a friendly against the United States but did not play due to an injury.  According to Whitmore, however, the player is not ready to go.

    “On the pitch, Leon has been sizzling. He is now fit and raring to go. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he should line- up at the start of the game on Monday. We still have a few more sessions to go, but his production at all the sessions has been spot on,” Whitmore said.

    “He is ready to make his international debut for Jamaica and will play with not only his talent but also his heart. This is what I sense in him since his arrival to the group… he's a really talented young man and very coachable.”

     

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