May 24, 2016
By: Brian Pitter
Talented Jamaican footballer and TEEN Leon Bailey was named the Belgian Pro League’s Young Player of the Season this week, after an impressive debut season with KRC Genk.
The skilful winger scored six goals and had nine assists last season and was duly rewarded with the prestigious prize following the conclusion of the Belgian Pro League.
Upon receiving the award, the former Ajax player, who was one of three non-Belgians in Genk’s attacking force this year, said: “Of course [it is a great honour] as you can see the smile on my face, it makes me very happy.” Bailey then thanked his supporters and teammates as well as his family back in Jamaica.
In response to surprise expressed by the host that one year ago he was not even a professional footballer but has now won the Young Player of the Season Award, the diminutive Jamaican said: “I want to be great, and I live by the saying ‘a wise man learns from his mistakes, but a wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.'”
Belgian sports media house Sporza reported his club as saying: “With his speed and penetration, the young Jamaican has made an impression at home and abroad. We look forward with great ambition for Leon next season.”
Since displaying tremendous ability in his performances for the club this past season, Bailey’s signature has been in high demand. Reports suggest that top European clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea could be vying for the 18-year-old this summer.
He has however recently extended his contract with Genk until 2020 and seems pretty happy playing in Belgium at the moment.