Orlando Pirates’ Lyle Foster is crediting his mentor and the club’s Head of Youth, Augusto ‘Prof’ Palacios, for the progress he has made in his career.
Foster is making a name for himself in Milutin Sredojevic’s Bucs team, wearing the number 20 jersey, which was previously worn by former club captain, Oupa Manyia.
In a recent Absa Premiership match against Cape Town City, where Bucs recorded an emphatic 1-0 win over Benni McCarthy’s side, Foster was the provider of an assist for the goal scored by Thabo Qalinge. The 17-year-old has since explained the role played by Palacios in his career.
“I have to thank God for sending me a father and a mentor like that. He’s just been a fantastic guy. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. I thank him for everything that I have today because he believed in me and I am happy that I have not disappointed him yet. He taught me discipline on and off the field, character and mental strength. Besides the football aspects, he is immaculate about off-the-field stuff as well. He taught me about hanging with the right people… everything surrounding a football lifestyle for a professional. I think because of his guidance, I was well prepared for when the time came for me to be where I am,” Foster told Soccer Laduma.
Former Pirates stars such as Lebohang Mokoena and the late Gift Leremi also came through Palacios’ mentorship at the Soweto giants. Foster has discussed how he got to work under the esteemed Peruvian mentor and development coach at a young age.
“At the age of 11, I went on trial at the Augusto Palacios Apprentice Academy and from there I was in the Orlando Pirates set-up. I made my way to the senior team through every rank possible – from the U13s to the MDC team,” concluded Foster.
Edition 1043 of Soccer Laduma has an exclusive double page spread with the South Africa national U20 young star.
Click for images for some of former football stars that came through Pirates' development