Former Orlando Pirates coach Augusto Palacios has urged the club to recall loaned out striker Boitumelo Radiopane, as the Buccaneers struggle to find the back of the net.

Radiopane registered an impressive 24 goals in the 2021/22 season for the Orlando Pirates reserve team – a new record for the DStv Diski Challenge.

The 20-year-old striker was then loaned out to Cape Town Spurs in the Motsepe Foundation Championship at the start of the current season.

However, the Buccaneers’ struggles in front of goal this season have brought Radiopane’s loan move under scrutiny.

Pirates has failed to score a single goal in their last three matches across all competitions, and only scored six goals in 10 league games this season. That is lowest amount by any side in the top eight of the DStv Premiership.

“Personally, I will always vouch for young players. If I’m in the same situation [as Pirates’ coach] I would recall him,” said Palacios.

“That’s a personal opinion and my own beliefs on young players. I always put them first and their development.”

“The sooner he [Radiopane] can play in the top level, the faster he can adjust to it, that is my belief.

“I did the same with Lyle Foster and Thabiso Monyane. I’ve always believed in putting young players first.”

The veteran coach however, clarified that that the club’s hierarchy is well within their right to prefer a loan move for the striker.

“Look, the club has it’s own policy, which I respect and understand. The premiership is difficult and for the bigger club’s it’s more about winning the trophies.

“In this environment it might be difficult the give the young player game time, so the teams will send on loan where the player can play and develop. I fully understand that.

“It’s been been done with Zakhele Lepasa, who is a top player.”

Orlando Pirates midfielder Vincent Pule on the depht of their squad and working with coach Jose Riveiro.
Radiopane was recently withdrawn from the South Africa U-23 squad as he nurses an injury.

Meanwhile, his parent club Orlando Prates will be hoping to find the goals when they take on AmaZulu on Friday at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

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