Youth and development football mentor Augusto Palacious believes that the South African football fans only get to enjoy talented players when they are much older.
The Orlando Pirates head of youth development speaks in light of the good displays that have been displayed by Bucs players such as Luvuyo Memela, Musa Nyatama and experienced midfielder Mpho Makola.
“Unlike in Europe the South African public only see the best in players when they are much older. We see the quality when it’s too late,” says Palacious.
“A large number of our players only get discovered when they are in the late twenties and peak at this time or even in their thirties.
“In Europe, it’s the direct opposite, players peak in their early twenties and by the time their late twenties and early thirties they’ve gained nearly 10-years as professionals. Think about players such as Memela and Makola, it would be very difficult to track their history and find out where they were playing 10-years ago,” highlights the development coach.
“Now both players are over the age of 30-years and they’ve only been playing their best football in the past four or five years which is far too short. This comes down to coaches and clubs needing to trust in younger players.
“At the moment Lyle Foster remains one of the youngest footballers who is making serious headway but how many other 17-year-olds are making the same strides in the PSL and this is my point. Our coaches need to start believing in younger players for the sake of giving players longer careers as professionals,” concluded the Bucs youth mentor.