Orlando Pirates promote youngster Lyle Foster

Orlando Pirates, Milutin Sredojevic
Bucs have reinforced their striking department with the acquisition of Foster from their academy

Orlando Pirates have officially promoted 17-year-old youngster Lyle Foster to the first team.

The Soweto giants confirmed the news on their website on Thursday, much to the delight of the player, who will rub shoulders with established players at the club.

"This is unreal. To be promoted to the senior team at such a young age is a big honour for me and my family. 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," Foster said.

He joins Yusuf Maart and Lehlohonolo Mtshali as the club's latest graduates this season, and Foster acknowledges their presence.

"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.

Chairman Dr Irvin Khoza wants to see the youngster walk in the footsteps of many before him that donned the famous black and white jersey.

"Some of the best footballers in the country has ever produced have donned this jersey. The likes of 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," Khoza said.

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"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," Khoza added.

Foster will wear the number 20 jersey that was left by Oupa Manyisa, who has since joined Mamelodi Sundowns.