The mentor of the talented Orlando Pirates young star who is touted for greatness, has shared details of an intimate talk with the player.
After impressing Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids and the rest of the technical team with his performance on his official debut against Maritzburg United on Wednesday, Simiso Bophela has his mentor and football development enthusiast, Augusto Palacios singing his praises.
In an interview with the Siya crew, the renowned youth coach provided a background on where it all started for the winger and his twin brother, Simo.
“Simiso is a twin, and his twin brother is Simo. Simo is a midfielder and Simiso is a winger, and he is left footed. Simo came first to my academy, the Augusto Palacios Apprentice Academy, to play for the under-13 team. After two months, he brought his brother Simiso who also started to play for the academy. In the four years that Simiso was with the academy, he played for the under-13, under-14, and under-15 age groups and after that I promoted him to Orlando Pirates development along with his twin brother,” said Palacios.
“But both players have different aspects about their football, and they are both very talented. On his way to Pirates’ first team, Simiso started at the club’s under-17 team before moving to the under-19s and up to the MDC team. He can also play as a striker, and he is a very physical player. He is very good with anticipation and is very good with the ball and he can take players on in one versus one situations. At one stage, he was playing for the South African under-17 national team. I appreciate what Orlando Pirates has done to promote the boy because he has a great potential,” the mentor added.
“Also, the boy’s promotion will be great for his family because his mother is not working, and his father is doing small jobs. I have always emphasised to Simiso that he needed to work hard so that he can make it to professional football and be able to support his family. My advice to him has always been that he needs to work hard to be able to buy a house for his parents and move them away from Soweto. I had a chat with him after the game (against Maritzburg), and he is very happy and proud. I encouraged him to continue working hard even if he plays five or 10 minutes for now, he is a great future. I like the fact that Pirates continues with the policy of giving opportunities to these young boys,” he concluded.
View Orlando Pirates’ 37-man squad for the 2021/22 season: