Renowned youth development coach and mentor Augusto Palacios has offered sound advice to South Africa on the procedures to follow in developing young players for professional clubs.
Palacios is unhappy about the number of young players who are not featuring regularly for their respective teams in the DStv Premiership after coming through the development.
The former Orlando Pirates development director, who runs his own academy in Johannesburg, is critical of how the PSL’s reserve league – the DStv Diski Challenge, is run and says Mzansi should adopt some of the policies used at international level by some of the countries in Europe and South America in nurturing talented young players.
“For me, young players are young until the age of 19 and after that they are not young in my opinion. Previously, we saw players in South Africa playing at this age but not anymore. We don’t see any players playing for Bafana Bafana at the age of 17 to 19 anymore,” said Palacios, speaking to the Siya crew.
“It would be important to ask this question, how old is the young player in the MDC and how old is the older player? MDC must be for players up to the age of 19 and it’s as simple as that. After that, players must play in another division. You must remember that MDC is considered to be the reserve side of a club and below that is the development which should be from five years of age to 17. 17-year-old players should be in the MDC and getting ready for professional football when they turn 18. This is my opinion about youth development which forms an essential part of any club, and this is the reason Europe and South America believe in youth policies,” he added.
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