(PHoenix Players Courtney HEnry, Akeem Higgins, Tarquin Smith, KEvaughn Atkinson, Travis Blagrove,Shaski Daley and KYle Butler Pose with Craig Butler after the JFF all island under 15 finals in 2010 where Kingston played St. Andrew. Half the kingston team was Phoenix and the other half played for St. Andrew...Provided an indication of the talent wiuthin the Academy)
The Phoenix All Stars Football Academy set out on a journey some 10 plus years ago to do the unimaginable..To complete something that had never before been done on Jamaican soil and that was to develop young players from scratch to a point where they are the best in the world at their age group. It took Perseverance and fortitude that would see Phoenix faced with many unnecessary challenges to the progress of the youngsters over the years and there were many nay sayers who didn't believe in the possibility that Phoenix could acheive its mandate.Phoenix has forged some very strong strategic alliances in european clubs USK Leube Anif, HSV GRODIG, RIED, ASV SALZburg, Red Bull Salzburg ( Austria) KRC GEnk and Anderlecht Belgium, Ajax and Fc twente Holland, Bayern Munich, MAinz and HSV HAmburg Germany. What this means to us is we have the ability to get trials for our players when we beleive they are ready for the opportunity.
Today Phoenix players have delivered on their promise. In my opinion they have become the best in the world. In recent times Phoenix under 19 squad concluded its ground breaking inaugural tour of Europe. Under the eyes of some of Europes top club scouts Phoenix played and won against some of Austria's top clubs and also journeyed to Holland to play one of Hollands oldest Clubs De treffers at Groesbeek and beat them by a resounding 6 goals to 1 the question many must ask at this point is how was this possible. the starting two attacking midfielders in the detreffers game was Kyle Butler and Leon Bailey barely 14 years old . Europe is where the most is invested in football in the world so these clubs would have the best players there . So how is it that a squad with scarce resources were able to win by such great margins with 14 year olds in charge of the creative aspect of the game?
The Answer is simple. Jamaicans are naturally gifted athletes and some of the most brilliant minds in the world hail from this little island..In many instances Jamaica could be said to be the ant of the animal kingdom. yet the focus on the important pieces of the puzzle just wasnt there. the academics, the moral and social responsibility and the confidence building... Phoenix Challenges its young players beyond the norm. an example of this is in 2010 Phoenix while playiong for central Kingston in the KSafa under 15 semifinals had no less than 7 players who were also in the under 13 squad playing in that game. by the tim,e LEon bailey Kyle Butler , Shaski daley and Kevaughn Atkinson as well as shawn LAwes, Andre Wilson, Odane walters to name just a few were 11 years old they were allready playing under 17 in the KSafa leagues together. The vision behind this was simple. In order to make it in a European country and be selected to join a top club the player must be not just as good as the local talent in his age group butmust be far superior. In fact the trial phase with most clubs pit foreign players against players at least two years older in an effort to test this superiority. So Phoenix goals were well planned and established early. Leon Bailey and Kyle Butler as well As Kevaughn Atkinson were the first to embark on this Journey of ambassadorship for Phoenix and Jamaica. They didnt just choose the first club that came along but went on trial with some of the biggest names in pro football in europe. In the above picture you will see Phoenix players Kyle Butler and Leon BAiley signing to join KRC GENK also known as Racing Genk in the Belgian premier League. While on trial Leon and Kyle trained with and played for the u17 and u16 squads at Genk and they proved themselves yet again above the standard of their own age group. (Kyle Butler in action vs the obviously larger Europeans) Some of the methods chosen by the Phoenix Head Craig Butler may not be within the norm. For example when Phoenix children begin with Butler at 5 or 6 years old they are exposed to the size five ball first. today Leon bailey and Kyle Butler and Kevaughn Atkinson astounds club trainers in Europe with the power and accuracy they have in shooting and are the designated free kick takers here.
Locally in the Ksafa Super League Shawn LAwes one of Phoenix players since aged 10 has also been showing that kind of Leadership and Power while playing for Barbican vs Cavaliers. Please take a look at the power and technique needed to score a goal of this quality. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%...txbgiSNrLmiPg6A
Phoenix Commitment to Jamaica and its Football Future
Kyle Butler Listens Keanly to Coach mike Rosbaud of USK ANif
All Phoenix Players have been infused from young the concept of coun try first and our choice in colours while on tour in europe is exemplery of our commitment to Jamaica. Here is from Left to rght Kevaughn Atkinson-top scorer of the Austrian landesliga, Kyle Butler USK ANIF Captain ( now signed to GENK) Andre Wilson( Wolmers Boys ), Andre Davis,Romario Mcknight( Lille /asv ) Odane Stoner( Boystown) and Leon Bailey (Topscorer of the Genk u16 and USK Anif U15)
( Phoenix Players in NAtional cpolours on tour vs De treffers in Groessbeek Holland.)
( Kyle and Leon At KRC GENK 2012)
( Kyle and Leon Playing for KRC GENK) 2012
for usk Anif 2011
( Phoenix 2009)
What is the benefit to all of this for Jamaica? Jamaica Can Win the U17 and u20 world Cup!
Although Phoenix wont claimn to be the only possible solution it is a solution that should be seriously considered. Phoenix has been able to accomplish the concept of sustained development and harnessed Jamaica's natural athletic ability with guidance and proper technical training to build a solid cohesive unit of players with full understanding of each others ability and playing styles. Usually when national teams are brought together they have to learn about each other and the team unity and cohesion is waining. Today Phoenix built and exposed players abound in Jamaica and overseas but are very close to each other and have a solid understanding that gives them a veryu good chance if managed correctly not just to make it to the world cup finals but in my humble opinion be able to WIN!.
Lets take a look at some of our other players who once they get to Europe will also shine unbelievably:
Shawn Lawes: Former national u17 goalkeeper is now a solid central holding midfielder and power forward. standing over 6ft Shawn is the natural leader of any team and able to truly lead a squad to victory. Leadership qualities, vision, tackling ability , shooting, all around great player.
extremely good touch pace and abiltity as a striker and works very well with Kevaughn Atkinson. JAson was also the top scorer of the u17 world cup campaign.
Andre Wilson Wolmers boys left sided player very good ..with Phoenix from 9 years old
Strong intelligent and disciplined central Midfielder and defender played for Jamaica College Manning Cup and is now signed to Asv Salzburg.
Scorer of Jamaica's goal in the u17 world cup finals..a talented left sided player with composure and deceptive ability to go to europe in June for the qualifiers..Leaves for Belgium on trial in June
Patrick Campbell Adaptable big strong Maicon type of defender with attacking ability- played manning cup for Excelsior this year, had a successful tour with Phoenix in Europe and is to return in June on trial with Genk in Europe.
Chevone Marsh Great Talent -left sided attacking player with touch movement sand something special- calabar high standout also had a successful tour of Europe and will be returning in June on trial.
Perfect Wingback right sided fast fit and visionary
Romario Mcknight-Lillie and ASV -the top defensive midfielder out of Jamaica in the u20 bracket.
Ashanie Oliphant 6ft 3 inches with the most powerful shot i have seen in years. Ashanie is a tower of strength to any midfield and a dominant midfielder and striker.
In the Under 17 world Cup campaign there is even a stronger abundance of Talent.
Kevaughn Atkinson All time top scorer of the Phoenix all Stars football academy
Amoy Brown STGC - top striker and midfielder able to balze the right wing.
Dominic James-Jamaica College Top midfielder and striker
Shaski Daley- calabar standout midfielder
Kyle Butler- top midfielder in the academy -
Leon Bailey Phoenix Most talented Player -
Junior Chambers - one of Phoenix brightest talkents now plays for the New england Revolution in Massachussetts
Tarquin Smith STGC- one of the best 15 year old defenders in Jamaica Built by Phoenix
Lamar Aiken- midfielder and attacking wingback..captain XCLR champion colts team.Built by Phoenix
Tevin Jackson- Top scorer last year colts competition for Excelsior built by Phoenix
Levar Dunchie Munro very good winger-
In Conclusion Phoenix who aims to complete its placement of 15 Jamaican players in the European leagues by December 2012. IS willing to ensure all its players are available for national duties so long as proper insurance is in place and the JFF is willing to pay for their airline tickets to and from Europe as well as their lodging and meals while in Jamaica.
We plan in the next couple months to have the top skill trainer in europe visit Jamaica for the Phoenix Summer camps to be staged in July .
At the end of the day Jamaica to Phoenix comes first.