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Orlando Pirates

'Before Pirates, I'd Only Played Street Football...'

From street football, to the Multichoice Diski Challenge, to scoring his first Orlando Pirates goal at the age of 17, it’s been a whirlwind journey to Europe for this teenage starlet…

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Lyle Foster completed a big-money move to French giants, Monaco, once he turned 18, but he’d already made an impact with the Buccaneers having risen through the youth ranks and opened his account for them in 2018, also representing his country at youth level.

Now, having made his senior debut for Monaco last year, the teen sensation is now playing regularly in the Belgian Pro League for Cercle Brugge, and admits that it’s been quite a step up from the streets of Soweto.

Foster, who was hoping to be part of the Tokyo 2020 setup at the Olympics this year, says that it was a dream come true to step up from the MDC to Bucs’ first team alongside players such as Xola Mlambo and Vincent Pule.

Speaking to adidas from Belgium, the 19-year-old said, “My footballing journey has been incredible… Before I joined Pirates as a kid back in 2012, I had only really played street football. I learned lots in the development structures, and it really helped me develop my talent. And then suddenly I was rubbing shoulders with the people I had always looked up to. It was crazy.

“As a teenager playing for the Pirates MDC team, I always used to watch the first team playing in the most amazing adidas boots and kit. And then, when I turned pro, they offered me a brand ambassadorship, alongside the likes of Vincent Pule and Xola Mlambo, and before that, Steven Pienaar, who’s been a role model to me. It was a dream come true.”

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Foster is set to return to Monaco later this year once his loan with Cercle comes to an end, and he’ll be hoping to get another shot at the big time in Ligue 1 whenever games resume in the French top-flight for the 2020/21 season. 

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