Augusto Palacios pictured during his tenure at Orlando Pirates. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG  Known as one of the best development coaches on the African continent, Augusto Palacios believes that South African football has much to offer if the administration is well coordinated.

This all ties in with the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge as it encourages coaches to improve their teams.

Palacios is known as one of the best development coaches on the African continent. He has had a glittering career and has taken charge of Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates. 

He also turned out for 16 different clubs during his playing career.

Besides coaching a number of prominent clubs in the country as well as the South African national senior men’s team, his wealth of experience also includes the Hong Kong National Women’s national team.

The Peruvian has  groomed  talents such as Thabiso Monyane, Azola Lungile, Lungile Makambi and Lorenzo Gordinho to name just a few.

“I believe that in order for South African soccer to be at a higher standard, we need to start developing these players from the tender age of nine because this is where you can identify their strengths and weaknesses. 

"Some coaches only want to polish players when they are between the ages of 17 and 19 which is too late. 

"Not all players are as lucky as Teko Modise, who reached the peak of his career at the age of 26, that is considered late for any other footballer’s career,” said the legendary coach.

He said that having soccer tournaments like the Walter Sisulu Challenge makes it accessible for clubs and academies to scout raw talent.

“Such tournaments give players a platform to be scouted by coaches like myself, especially since the tournament takes place during the December school holidays because there is less PSL action happening so clubs have enough time to come and seek new talent. 

"Most people think that once a player has been scouted, it ends there  but we need to evaluate the capacity of talent the player has,”  Palacios concluded.

African News Agency (ANA)