Sun | Jun 17, 2018

I deserve national call - Kyle Butler

Published:Tuesday | December 26, 2017 | 12:43 AMLivingston Scott


Much discussed young midfielder, Kyle Butler, the brother of Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey and the son of their controversial father and agent, Craig Butler, is confident he can add something to the Reggae Boyz midfield, but does not want the federation to wait until he eventually makes it big professionally - like Bailey, before a call is extended.

The  player argued that he has earned his 'stripes'  as a professional and believes that Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts belittled him when he stated that the younger Butler must first go through a training camp before he can be selected for the national senior team.

"It's like Leon; they were fighting him in the beginning but they can't hide him anymore, so eventually they wont be able to hide me. Eventually, I will get into a good club - most definitely. But first you have to believe and then you can achieve," he said.

Since the start of the year, Kyle has been at the heart of an ongoing debate of whether or not he deserves a national call-up.

The 19 year-old finally broke his silence, pointing to what he described as 'inside politics' for his non-selection during a sit down with The Gleaner late last week following a training session with his father's Phoenix Academy at the Waterhouse Stadium.

"My perspective is if you are going to call high school kids, might as well give someone the chance that has played professionally for years. I earned my stripes three years ago and I am yet to earn a call up. I don't know if it is because my name is Butler, but anyone else would get a call-up. But it just shows how politics play a part in football.

"When Cristiano Ronaldo plays a bad game the whole world talks about it. It's similar to Kyle Butler, because my father is Craig Butler, so I am under a microscope, and whatever happens they try to make it worse than it is.

"I have been through a lot in Jamaica but I have nothing against anyone. I love my country, so I don't understand why (I can't get selected)," he continued.

The 19 year-old midfielder, who currently plays for St Andrew in the Maltese Premier League, said it is disrespectful to call up a pro for a squad match.

"They want me to play a practice match, which I find ridiculous because for someone to be playing professionally and to get a chance you have to come down to train with the team and you have to play a practice (squad) match," he question. 

"Look around world, when people (players) get called to the national squad they get called to play games and if the player don't perform then they lose their chance," he reasoned.