Jamaica Can Win a World Cup Easily, Says Phoenix Academy Founder Craig Butler

Craig Butler, the founder and owner of the Phoenix Football Academy, believes that Jamaica could “easily” win a World Cup. In an interview on The Fix, Butler, who was instrumental in the development of Duhaney “Whisper” Richards, a recent signer with the English Premier League’s Chelsea FC, Butler said that Jamaica must choose a football system to play as other countries do. He cited Jamaica’s ability to produce outstanding players through a willingness to work hard and make a commitment to excellence.

In the interview, Butler added that implementing a systematic approach to development like the rest of the world does would ultimately result in a World Cup win. Using “Whisper” Richards who has trained at Phoenix Academy since he was 12, as an example, Butler said that at 6-foot-3-inches tall and just 17 years of age, Richards is already very powerful and that his genetics are strong. Butler added that If he is patient and is developed properly he could be a “monster” player. Butler went on to describe the potential for Jamaican players, saying, “If you are the fastest human beings on the planet in a game that has evolved to use speed over everything else – intelligence, speed, skills – all effort should go into incorporating all the training and skills they have in Europe.” Butler said he has already done this at Phoenix.



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The Phoenix Academy started in 2011 to help young men and women make advancements in their lives and was designed to imbue young people with the concepts of loyalty, honor, leadership, friendship, moral and social responsibility, and growth through the sport of football. At the time, there was no program like it in existence. Later, Phoenix was viewed as the “farm” for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz national team, and it began to develop football players for professional play and obtain football scholarships for players. Many of the original players involved with Butler’s efforts at very early ages went on to lead their high school football teams and to win prestigious awards. Examples include Kyle Butler at St. Georges College, Dominic James at Jamaica College, Jason Wright for Wolmer’s Boys, Kevaughn Atkinson and Andre Wilson for Calabar High, and Leon Bailey for Kingston College. All of them were from the Phoenix Academy.

Before signing with Chelsea, “Whisper” Richards was an outstanding player at Kingston College (KC) during the latest schoolboy football season and was instrumental to the success of KC playing in the semifinals of the Corporate Area Manning Cup as in the final of the Champions Cup. Richards made 31 goals and had 19 assists in his last season.

Current membership of the Phoenix Academy totals 452 players in the US, Jamaica, Canada, Dubai, Qatar Africa, Europe, England, and the Caribbean.

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