Alexander Bicknell off to Portugal’s second division
National Under-20 midfielder Alexander “Zander” Bicknell has signed a professional contract with Portuguese Division Two side Leixões Soccer Club. Located in Matosinhos, Portugal, Leixões’ stadium holds 7,700 spectators and is one of Portugal’s oldest clubs, founded in 1907.
Bicknell, a graduate of the Craig Butler-led Phoenix Academy, which has also produced national seniors player Leon Bailey and Dujuan Richards, expressed his happiness and eagerness to contribute to Leixões this season.
“I have only been at Leixões SC for a few days, but I am so happy here, and the team training and level of play is excellent with eight coaches and many international players,” he said. “Now my job is to continue training extra hard and always go the extra mile to get to the top.”
Bicknell says coaching is conducted in both English and Portuguese, and he plans to start Portuguese lessons on Monday.
“Everyone in Portugal has been so welcoming and kind and I am extremely grateful to Craig Butler for spending hours of his personal time to coach me and get me opportunities throughout my life, and to Emil Pollman and Fernando Meira who have both played a huge role in getting me this lifetime opportunity in Matosinhos,” he said.
Bicknell, who participated in the Concacaf FIFA World Cup Under-20 qualifiers in Honduras in 2021, says he had been training intensively before leaving Jamaica.
“I was training three times per day before I left Jamaica, so I am feeling extra strong, prepared and match ready,” he said.
Bicknell represented Mona High School in the ISSA/Manning Cup competition in 2021.
— Robert Bailey