Orlando Pirates have promoted youth development striker Lyle Foster to the first team, following his impressive performances for Amajita.
The striker, who celebrated his 17th birthday three days ago, has been racking up goals for the Pirates junior teams, and has made immense progress since featuring at the U17 Gauteng Future Champs, the U18 Engen Knockout Challenge, the U19 Bayhill Cup, and the U23 Project X UK Tour.
Foster, who will don the number 20 jersey which was previously worn by Oupa Manyisa, now a Mamelodi Sundowns man, revealed his delight at joining Bucs’ senior team.
‘This is unreal. To be promoted to the senior team at such a young age is a big honour for me and my family,’ he told the club’s official website.
‘I’m looking forward to learning from the coaches and growing as a player in my new environment.
‘I want to thank God because this wouldn’t have been possible without him, and I also thank my family and the club for the guidance and support,’ he added.
Foster formed part of the South Africa U20 squad that did duty against Brazil and England, where the striker picked up the man-of-the-match award for his assist and goal in the 2-1 victory against England.
Foster now joins fellow development graduates in Yusuf Maart and Lehlohonolo Mtshali, and the 17-year-old highlighted their progress to the first team as motivation.
‘We’ve played with Hloni and Yusuf before, so when they got promoted, it was pretty cool.
‘It showed us that there is always a chance that someone else will follow. They opened the door for guys like me, and hopefully I can do the same for the others, you know,’ he said.
Pirates chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza, also expressed his happiness for the teenage starlet.
‘Some of the best footballers that the country has ever produced have donned this jersey.
‘The likes of Chippa Chippa Moloi, Teboho’s father, he was one of the best. That’s why you see his picture on the walls. Together with many names like Jomo Sono and Kaizer Motaung, these players made an impact at this club and left their mark.
‘At 17 years of age, you join a group of players that includes Jomo, who made history by being among the youngest ever signed by this club. Congratulations Mr Foster, we look forward to seeing great things from you with this club,’ he concluded.
Photo: Orlando Pirates’ website
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