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Palacios’ Huge Concern Despite Improvement With Pirates Youth

Under co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids in the current campaign, there has been notable improvement at Orlando Pirates with regards to the club’s integration of young players from their development to the senior team as compared to some of the seasons in recent years.

The likes of Simiso Bophela and Boitumelo Radiopane are some of the Pirates young stars that have been on the radar of the first team under the two coaches, while 17-year-old striker Mohau Nkota has become the latest player to be lined up for making a step up at the Soweto giants this year, following his notable progress with the club’s DStv Diski Challenge team under Mandla Qhogi.

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Former Pirates youth development director Augusto Palacios is happy with the latest developments though the experienced mentor is concerned about the opportunities that the players get given to play regular first team football.

“Firstly, you must remember that I am no longer with Pirates but because you are asking me about youth development, I can comment like I do with any club that has a youth development policy. It’s very good what Pirates is doing. But when you talk about young players being promoted, they should play after being promoted. Promoting players while they end up not playing is my main concern,” said Palacios, speaking to the Siya crew.

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“I don’t want to talk about Pirates or any club specifically because it is not my position to, but I am talking to you as a journalist and the fact that you called me and asked. You are telling me about players that have been promoted to the first team, but how many are playing? We need to be fair that when we promote these boys they should play. But in most cases, coaches will tell you that these players are not ready, but how are they going to be ready if they are not playing? You asked me a question and in answering you I am saying I am very happy when clubs promote players but I’m not happy when (young) players don’t play regularly,” he added.

Read: Three New Signings Unveiled At Gauteng Club  

“You had Liverpool playing in FA Cup last week with a 17-year-old player in their team and he played almost the whole game and his name is Kaide Gordon. There’s also a 15-year-old player by the name of Roger Fernandes who was given a chance to play by his coach Carlos Carvalhal in Portugal (for Braga).  In the PSL, coaches are under pressure to win the league, not getting teams relegated and to win cups,” concluded Palacios. 

View 22 players you may have forgotten played for Orlando Pirates:

       

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