Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Kelly's World | If Leicester can do it, so can you!

Published:Monday | May 9, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Southampton's Shane Long celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game, during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary's, in Southampton, England.

I know there's a lot of material on Jamaican shores to write 50 columns, but somehow the ones that come to mind are all kinda depressing.

So despite probably being clinically depressed myself, I will do a happy piece. Leicester City (find a map of England) won the Barclays Premier League last week, and it's the first time the team was winning the trophy awarded to the absolute top flight of English football in its 132-year history.

Let that sink in for a second. As a nation, Jamaica is almost 54 years. So, if we did start over from Independence and come back, Leicester would still be much older. And dem neva win di biggest prize yet!

Now, what makes their feat even more admirable is that they did it without any 'big money' players. Even their leading goalscorer only cost about a million pounds (which, trust me, by today's standards, is like buying jeans downtown as opposed to at Macy's). The names of half of their players, unless you really, reaaally pay attention to world football, will not register on your personal Richter scale. I'm not saying they're nobodies, but they're not Messi or Ronaldo. The 2015/2016 Leicester team is an unlikely bunch of journeymen footballers who have, somehow, managed to win the most popular league title in world football.

They did it by working together, working hard, and perhaps most important, knowing who they were and not straying from it. And there are lessons there for all of us. In whatever sphere of your life, get the right team of people together, work your socks off for and with each other, and perhaps most important, remember who you are.

 

'FOXY' MOVES

 

Leicester didn't try to play like the 'big clubs' who have a payroll large enough to get Jamaica out of debt. The nickname of the team is the Foxes, and it's kinda appropriate, considering how they played. A fox, I am told, will crouch and camouflage itself before springing into attack. And that's what the 'human foxes' did. Leicester let their opponents have the ball all day and then pounced on them in often devastating counter-attacks. They scrapped and clawed for everything. Maybe they really couldn't do it any other way - but that's the point; they didn't try to. They never lost sight of who they were.

By the way, Leicester's manager, Claudio Ranieri, is quite a journeyman himself. He's had various jobs from managing clubs in his native Italy to managing Greek's national team. He was sacked from the last five jobs he had. But he kept going. He kept doing things his way (as in his basic philosophy), but also learning from his mistakes along the way. Now, at 64 years old, he's a top league champion. And that's another lesson; persistence is a heck of a thing. Of course, it all stems from believing in yourself and what you do. And that is another thing you must achieve in your own mind or the game is lost before you start.

So go forth, my friends, and invoke the spirit of the fox(es).

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com