Orlando Pirates promote 16-year-old to first team

03 August 2018 - 16:58 By Marc Strydom
Augustine Mahlonoko (right) has been promoted to Orlando Pirates' first team.
Augustine Mahlonoko (right) has been promoted to Orlando Pirates' first team.
Image: www.orlandopiratesfc.com

Orlando Pirates have promoted 16-year-old midfielder Augustine Mahlonoko to their first team for the 2018-19 season.

Pirates announced this on their website on Friday.

Pirates said: "The 16-year-old who impressed on the club’s recent Project X trip to Brazil earlier in the year‚ has done enough to impress the first team coaches and support staff and take the jump into the professional set-up."

The teen was quoted as saying: “I am thankful to all those who were involved in me getting promoted. This is a special moment for me and my family."

“I have learnt a lot since being with the first team during preseason but there’s a lot that I still need to learn and I welcome that because it can only make me a better player. Though I am happy to be promoted‚ I will not let this get to my head because in all honestly‚ this is only the beginning.”

Pirates' head of development Augusto Palacios pointed out that Mahlonoko has been promoted despite not having played for Bucs' Multichoice Diski Challenge reserve team.

“I welcome what has been happening in the first team lately. The forward-thinking technical team understands the importance of development‚ which is why you can see the trail of young players promoted in recent times‚" Palacios said.

“The promotion of Mahlonoko is even more significant because it gives all the youngsters in the academy hope that they too can make it.

“Mahlonoko never even played in the MDC. He was selected straight after impressing at U17 level and later on during the Project X tour. All this shows that anything is possible if you stay focused and dedicated to your craft.”