We are on a mission to produce future Orlando Pirates stars, says Augusto Palacios

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The Bucs first team has benefitted from the club’s development structures down the years

Orlando Pirates head of development Augusto Palacios says they are on a mission to produce more players for the club's first team.

Promising youngsters Lyle Foster and Siphumelele Mbulu were promoted to the Bucs first team from the club's development academy this season.

However, Peruvian tactician Palacios made it clear that they will not rush to get players into first team.

“We have to make it a point that we get more graduates into the first team,” Palacios said on The Citizen.

“But they have to be ready when they get there, we just don’t rush to get players in the first team," the former South Africa head coach continued.

Benedict Vilakazi, Gift Leremi, Joseph Makhanya, Lebohang Mokoena and the late Senzo Meyiwa are some of the former South Africa internationals, who were nurtured in the Bucs academy.

"We have to make it a point that the boys are ready when they get to the top and don’t take time to adjust to the set-up," he added.

The Buccaneers are set to participate in the 2018 Under-17 Gauteng Future Champions international tournament which is scheduled to start in Soweto on Monday.

Palacios stated that the competition will give them an opportunity to see how some of their players cope when coming up against international teams.

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“It will be good to test themselves against their international counterparts and it will also give us an idea of their progress and where we still need to help them be ready for the big stage," the experienced coach concluded.

Belgium’s Club Brugge, Dutch outfit Ado Den Haag, Spanish side Espanyol, Russia’s FC Spartak, Zambian club Nkana FC and Black Africa Hopsol from Namibia are expected to participate in the youth tournament.

Last year, Pirates won the Future Champions Gauteng U-17 Cup at the Nike Centre in Soweto.

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