He’s already made his Ligue 1 debut by the age of 19, and Lyle Foster wants to see more South Africans following in his footsteps, saying academy boys ‘must get their chances’.
The teenager is currently playing for Cercle Brugge in the Belgian Pro League as he looks to make his mark on European football, and has made 20 appearances for the club since completing a loan switch from Monaco earlier in the season.
Now, with time to reflect on his career so far during the football standstill, Foster says that he hopes that more players across South Africa get the opportunity to do what he did, which is make his Absa Premiership debut at the age of just 17.
Speaking to adidas from Belgium, the 19-year-old said, “What I really want to see in South Africa is more young players coming through and getting the opportunity to play in the professional ranks… The boys in academies and the reserve league must get their chances to show how they can perform at a higher level.
“In Europe, Borussia Dortmund’s two best players are 19 years old. We can have a huge impact if given the chance. We must believe in young talent. Young players are hungry to prove a point, and can add a new dynamic and spark to the team.”
So what does he say to the millions of players around the world hoping to get their break? “The main thing is that you carry on playing football,” he says. “Very few players turn pro, but you must keep playing, and being involved in the community, and gaining the benefits that playing a team sport gives you. Football teaches you about life. I think I’ll play until I can’t walk anymore. It’s part of who I am.”
Do you agree with Foster? Should More teenagers be getting a shot in the PSL?