Update: Since publication, Leicester City have been crowned Premier League Champions and Raith Rovers have been eliminated from the Premiership Play-Offs, with their manager completing a move to relegated Dundee United.
This afternoon, Leicester City have the chance to crown a fairytale season by winning the title against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Meanwhile in Fife, Kirkcaldy’s Raith Rovers have already clinched a play-off play to fight for promotion to the Scottish Premiership. Harry Panayiotou, on loan at Raith Rovers, spoke exclusively to Young Perspective about his parent club’s chances.
A product of the Leicester youth academy, Panayiotou has grown up as a Foxes fan from a young age. However, due to the Scottish fixture schedule, he will be actually be playing as Leicester play for the title. Panayiotou told us “You know what? I won’t be watching it because obviously I’ve got things here. I had tickets to go down to the game, but I had to pass them on to my parents because they had a game. I can’t really think about that right now, I’m sure they’ll do it, but my concentration is on the playoffs.”
As part of the Foxes’ youth system, Panayiotou developped playing with the likes of first teamers Jeffrey Schlupp and Liam Moore. Both looked out for the Saint Kitts and Nevis, who is delighted for his friends. He said: “It means a lot to them. I grew up with Jeff [Schlupp], I grew up with Liam Moore – we were in the same team. They’re like my big brothers. They always check on my at the club to see I’m doing okay. To see them about to lift the trophy, it means a lot. I’m so happy for Jeff and Liam because they deserve it.”
Panayiotou was in and around the Leicester City squad when they first won promotion to the Premier League in 2014 and his experience could be invaluable for his loan club in their attempt to join the top flight of Scottish football.
“I think we have some Premiership players in that team: I think we’ve got a great team, we’ve got a great balance, I believe we could stay in that league and regroup. Obviously we’ve got the summer to come, I don’t know the gaf’ might bring new players, but even if he doesn’t bring in new players, I think the lads right now could do a job in the Premiership.”
If Rovers were to win promotion it would seem that there would certainly be interest in keeping the striker in Scotland, however, Harry Panayiotou is clear that he hopes to rejoin his parent club in the summer in the hope that his current deal – which expires this year – will be renewed. He told Young Perspective: “Obviously my commitment is to Leicester and I want my future to be there.