Royal AM coach John Maduka says his young chairman Andile Mpisane has the potential to become a top player and revealed that he’s training with the first team.

Mpisane featured in the club’s Diski Challenge team over the weekend when they drew 1-1 with AmaZulu at Sugar Ray Xulu, with many onlookers at the stadium and social media questioning his physical shape.

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He led his team as he was named the skipper, and played until after the hour mark before he was taken off by coach Sazi Ngabune.

He looked unhappy at the decision, going straight down the tunnel to the change room while his mother and club president – Shauwn Mkhize – watched in the stands.

After the game, he was captured on camera talking to Head of Development Khabo Zondo, looking very unhappy at being taken off.

While he was on the pitch, Mpisane showed some lovely touches, drilling in one brilliant free-kick that was flicked away by Usuthu goalkeeper Olwethu Mzimela to safety.

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But otherwise he was anonymous on the pitch, with his teammates hardly passing the ball to him when they were in the attacking position but Maduka insisted he’s got the talent.

“He’s still a young and talented player,” said Maduka in the press conference in Umhlanga on Tuesday as Royal AM will visit Cape Town City in the Nedbank Cup Last-23 at DHL Stadium on Sunday.

“He’s got the potential; you can’t run away from that. For us to be where we are, we started somewhere. So we give opportunities to everyone who raises up their hands and says ‘I can do that’.

“I strongly believe that he’s one of the players that have got the potential and he’s talented.”

When asked if Andile Mpisane could eventually make his first start in the top flight, Maduka was coy, before adding that he does train with the team.

“We chose a team on merit, whoever does well at training, will play,” said Maduka.

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“He does train with the team.”

Maduka and Royal AM next travel to Cape Town where they will face Cape Town City in the Nedbank Cup last-32 at DHL Stadium on Sunday.

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