High praise after Bucs youngster's debut


Former Orlando Pirates head of development Augusto Palacios has heaped praise on youngster Azola Tshobeni after he made his DStv Premiership debut against Maritzburg United on Saturday.

Tshobeni, who was promoted to the senior team from the DStv Diski Challenge team together with Thabiso Sesane at the start of the season, made his first official appearance in the black and white colours as Bucs beat United 1-0 at Harry Gwala Stadium.

The 18-year-old midfielder showed class and held his own against the Team of Choice, and was unlucky to lose the man-of-the-match award to Thabang Monare, who also had a splendid game.

Tshobeni's performance on Saturday could not have made anybody happier than Palacios, who guided the youngster from his own academy to top-flight football.

"I am very proud of Azola today. He played his first professional game. He came to my academy APAA as a 14-year-old and developed with me," Palacios tells KickOff.com.

"When he was 16 he joined Orlando Pirates, where he went to play for the Gauteng Future Champions and the MDC team for Pirates.

"I am very proud of his achievement having joined the senior team at the age of 18 years old. He is a brightest prospect of South African football. I am happy for Pirates to have given a chance to develop such a great talent and give him the opportunity to showcase his talent.

"He now joins the great list of Lyle Foster and Thabiso Monyane, who has gone on to wear the Pirates jersey with pride from the development."

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