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Palacious: Foster Still Needs To Come Into His Own

Orlando Pirates development mentor Augusto Palacios has told Soccer Laduma that Bus starlet Lyle Foster still needs to develop further before considering a move abroad.

This was said in response to reports linking the 17-year-old with moves to either France or Germany.  

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Foster made headlines a few weeks ago when Soccer Laduma reported that the 17-year-old had been promoted to the Soweto giant’s first team, making him one of the youngest players to be promoted from the club’s junior ranks.

His performances in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge did not go unnoticed with the higher fractions within the Parktown-based club deciding to promote him to the first team. Now with reports suggesting that the young Foster is currently being monitored by possible suitors in Europe and suggestions that French Ligue 1 champions, AS Monaco, have initiated talks for the striker, Palacious has weighed in with his opinion having worked extensively with the youngster since the age of 12.  

“The maturity of a player is always an individual or unique factor to consider. In the past we have seen players such as Benni McCarthy and Steven Pienaar who left at young ages and made successful careers in in Europe,” explains Palacious. 

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“As a player, Foster still needs to come into his own and understand the pressure of playing first team football which hasn't received much experience in. You see development football is very different from playing first team football. 

“Players need to adjust to the training and level of competition that a first team player is exposed to. Often the selection of development structures is different from first team football. For example, as development coaches our mandate is to give all players a chance to play and get used to the philosophy of playing regular competitive football. But at senior level, the coach will always select a player based on current form and the player that’s playing well at that moment. It’s about having the best possible eleven on the field,” added the Bucs development coach.

“The biggest mistake our players make is believing that their talents will enable them to walk into any team and when that doesn’t happen players tend to shut down mentally and struggle to adjust to their new clubs. Foster is a talented player but he still needs to understand this. That is why even in the Pirates first team he is yet to get regular game-time.”

“I would like to see him play at least one full season as a first team player. During that season he needs to fight to become the first choice striker in the team. If he does this well which I believe he can, then he would have the mental strength to compete with players in other clubs overseas, concluded Palacious.  

Foster has only played 102 minutes of football this season under Milutin Sredojević having started once and come off the bench on three occasions so far.  

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