Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Kyle Butler: I know how to overcome setbacks

Published:Saturday | December 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Kyle Butler (centre) dribbles under the watchful eyes of his father Craig Butler at a training session with his Phoenix Academy players at the Waterhouse Mini stadium yesterday.

Kyle Butler's European journey has turned out much different from that of his brother, Leon Bailey.

Both started at the same time, but while Bailey is now achieving a great deal of success in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen, Butler is playing in the little-known Maltese Premier League.

But the little midfielder said he knows how to overcome setbacks and is confident that he will overcome the disappointment of slipping down to a lower league, while promising that he will make it back into Europe's top leagues again.

"We travelled to Europe when we were very young - 12 years old. Leon and I played at all levels together and excelled. We went to Genk and started playing there and made waves. But we came home for a while because we had to wait until we were 18 before we could sign a professional contract.

"Leon was then signed to the (Genk) first team and I was signed to the second team and both of us excelled. Leon then got a transfer to Leverkusen and I had to go somewhere else. Now I am in Malta doing my thing and looking to get back to mainland Europe," he said.

The young Butler said a change in management came at the wrong time for him at Genk.

"In football, there is a lot of 'politics'. There is more behind the scenes than what is actually going on, so sometimes it's difficult and sometimes you get overlooked. But my stats speak for themselves. I scored 11 goals and had eight assists in about 12 games and those are remarkable numbers and anywhere else you would get a chance.

"But the new coach didn't want to look at any of the second team players ... he wanted to focus on the core group of the first team, so the timing was just wrong for everything," he continued.

 

DEVASTATING MENTALLY

 

Although the disappointment of dropping down to a lower league was devastating mentally, the 19-year-old insists he knows how to stand on his feet.

"It was disappointing (not being signed by Genk) but I have been through a lot of failures in my life, so I know how to rise back up and fight again.

"Mentally, it was more difficult at first (to play in Malta). But they say the higher you play the easier it is, while the lower you play the tougher it is. It's difficult playing at a lower level, but it is important to focus on yourself and on the right things to do to keep your level up, so that when the time comes you are ready.

The St Andrew FC number 10 does not feel he is playing his best currently, but is starting to hit his stride again and is improving each day.

"I believe I can be performing much better (for St Andrew). I am not at my best yet, but it's coming on because in the last couple of games there has been improvement and I am just working on improving every day," he concluded.