All Of The 'Big 3’s' Promoted Youth Stars
Which Players Have Been Promoted To Chiefs, Pirates & Downs?
We take a look at the players that have been promoted from Mamelodi Sundowns’, Kaizer Chiefs’ and Orlando Pirates’ youth ranks to the senior teams this season.
Youth team graduates commonly form the lifeblood of any professional team, with players more adaptable to their club’s culture and fans more prone to afford them opportunities to prove their value to the team. In the past, we’ve seen the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Happy Jele and Percy Tau all emerge from their respective teams’ ranks to solidify their places in the first team. These are the players that will be hoping to follow in their footsteps, having been promoted to the first team in the 2017/18 season.
Wiseman Meyiwa (17) – Central midfielder
Meyiwa has been the talk of the town in recent weeks, having scored on his first team debut in the 2-0 win over Cape Town City and returning to action with starts against Bidvest Wits and Maritzburg United, while coming off the bench against Golden Arrows.
Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (17) – Attacking midfielder
Along with Meyiwa, Ngcobo made a name for himself, as he consistently produced good performances for Chiefs’ MultiChoice Diski Challenge team.
Khotso Malope (23) – Central midfielder
At the age of 23, Malope has earned his stripes by spending the last two seasons on loan at AmaZulu and with Thanda Royal Zulu, who were crowned NFD champions last season. He has already taken part in the 2-0 win over Maritzburg United as well as the goalless draw against Golden Arrows.
Yusuf Bunting (21) – Striker
Bunting was handed a four-year contract last week after impressing for the MDC team and gaining attention for his performances at the SAB U21 National Championship, where he scored 12 goals in five games, including two hattricks for Gauteng and being named Best Player of the tournament.
Keletso Makgalwa (20) – Left winger
Another player to have turned out at the SAB U21 National Championship, for Limpopo, Makgalwa was instrumental in Sundowns’ title-winning season in last year’s MDC campaign, where he was also named the MDC’s Most Precious Find at the 2017 PSL awards.
Thendo Mukumela (19) – Centre back
Mukumela is a versatile option for Pitso Mosimane at the back and is able to play at right back and as a defensive midfielder – he’s even played as a striker before! He has also earned caps for both the U17 and U20 national teams.
Lehlohonolo Mtshali (22) – Centre back
Mtshali came of age in last season’s MDC and was identified for his composure, his aerial strength and strong tackles. Beyond that, he packs a powerful shot, which attracted attention after he scored a wonder strike against Bidvest Wits last season.
Yusuf Maart (22) – Attacking midfielder
Maart has already been in the senior team since March but has only played seven minutes on the pitch in two appearances in all competitions to date. However, the seven goals that he scored in the MDC last season is an indication that he’s capable of finding the back of the net and contributing when the strikers are having an off day.
Lyle Foster (17) – Striker
Foster has already made three appearances for the Pirates senior team, even grabbing an assist for Thabo Qalinge’s winner. He has also attracted interest from abroad and awarded praise from the head coach, Milutin Sredojevic, who called him “a special talent”.
Which club do you think has promoted the finest hot prospects this season?