A week after Sekhukhune United coach Brandon Truter argued that South Africans are predominantly late developers and football authorities do not take development seriously, Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says Boitumelo Radiopane is not yet ready to don the Ghosts’ jersey.

Boitumelo Radiopane, aged 20, was sent out on loan by Pirates to Motsepe Foundation Championship (National First Division) side Cape Town Spurs at the start of the 2022/23 season despite calls from the Soweto giants’ faithful to promote the promising striker to the first team.

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The Sebokeng-born striker clinched the DStv Diski Challenge Golden Boot award for two consecutive seasons, scoring 24 goals last season in the reserve league for Pirates.

Pirates supporters were hopeful that Radiopane was the man who could solve the club’s scoring problems. Still, the technical team opted for experience as they signed Bienvenu Eva Nga, Kermit Erasmus and most recently, Ndumiso Mabena.

Radiopane, who is eager to return to Pirates, scored a stunner in extra-time as Spurs beat AmaTuks 1-0 to progress into the Round of 32 of the Nedbank Cup.

As a result of the goal, Radiopane was the talk of the town, with a section of the Pirates fans insisting that it was a mistake to loan out the young attacker.

The Soweto giants are struggling in front of goals with only 10 DStv Premiership strikes in 15 games, with Erasmus, Eva Nga, Kwame Peprah, and Zakhele Lepasa misfiring.

“I don’t like to speak about players individually, especially if it is a player that is not in the current squad. Radiopane is a Pirates player, and hopefully soon, he will play,” said Riveiro.

“And I think he is doing a good job after a long period out due to an injury. I don’t know the [Cape Town Spurs] coach, but I know that he is a good coach [Shaun Bartlett] who can help him a lot in his development there. That’s the reason why he is there.”

It is easy to understand why Riveiro has so much faith in Radiopane’s coach at Spurs, Bartlett. The former Bafana Bafana forward was a lethal striker in his heydays, and he played in top leagues, including the Premier League.

He is second on the list of Bafana’s all-time leading top scorers with 28 goals, just three goals behind Manchester United strikers’ coach Benni McCarthy.

“Hopefully, in fact, I’m pretty sure that Radiopane will manage to achieve the standard that is needed to play for Pirates and hopefully, this period at CT Spurs is going to complement his development; that’s all I can say about Radiopane,” added the Pirates coach.

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Radiopane’s incredible form for Bucs’ Diski side saw him earn a Bafana Bafana call-up for the 2022 COSAFA Cup, which was held in Durban.

The young striker’s team, Spurs, will take on Hungry Lions in the second-tier league on Friday afternoon at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.

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