Butler:‘Happy Leon will be playing in the final’
Phoenix Football Academy CEO Craig Butler has a lot to be proud of these days, primarily about the recent success that his client and son Jamaican international Leon Bailey has made.
The Bayer Leverkusen forward welcomed the birth of his first child on June 14 and and has contributed regularly to Leverkusen's push for a Champions League spot, adding an assist in their 3-1 win over FC Koln last Wednesday.
Additionally, he will be preparing for his first major cup final when his club faces German champions Bayern Munich in the 2020 German Cup final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on July 4. Butler says that he is proud of the 22-year-old's recent good fortune.
"I'm excited about the fact that we will have a Jamaican playing in the club final. I'm excited that Leon has been able to shrug of his injuries and [despite] a rough season still come through," Butler told STAR Sports.
His rough season included missing games due to injury problems and suspensions. He has registered five goals and three assists in 21 league appearances with Leverkusen this season, who are in fifth place with 60 points, two points adrift from a top four finish and with one game remaining. While he did not feature in the German Cup semi-final win against Saarbrucken on June 9, Butler says that for him to be playing in his first major cup final is a great feat.
"This is, I think, the first Jamaican to reach that level where he is playing in a cup final in the one of the leagues in the world. So for us, it's an extreme accomplishment," he said. "He has reclaimed his starting spot, recovered from his injuries, had a baby, and continues to make all of us at Phoenix and, by extension, Jamaica very proud."
Bailey will still have games to play when the domestic season concludes, as the Europa league announced their return plans recently.
The second leg of all round-of-16 ties will be played in August, with the competition to be completed that month. Bayer Leverkusen currently lead their tie against Scottish club Rangers 3-1 on aggregate, with Bailey getting on the scoresheet in the first leg in Glasgow, Scotland.