Cape Town Spurs’ Luke Baartman announced his arrival on the big stage on Wednesday night when he became the second youngest goalscorer in the DStv Premiership when he scored in the 90th minute against Kaizer Chiefs.
Chiefs won the game 3-2, but that didn’t take the shine out of the young man’s night.
The 17-year-old striker, who has less than a handful of senior appearances to his name, is one of the most talked about young players in the country.
His arrival on the big stage augurs well for South African football, which is seeing a number of talented teenagers getting their opportunities in the top flight.
Mamelodi Sundowns’ Siyabonga Mabena, just 16, became the youngest goalscorer in the league earlier this season, while Orlando Pirates starlet Relebohile Mofokeng has impressed so much he’s been attracting interest from the Premier League.
Commenting after Wednesday’s game Spurs’ coach Sean Connor was cautious about putting too much pressure on the youngster.
“I spoke about him last week and I don’t really want to indulge too much about him,” Connor was quoted in the media after the Chiefs game.
“Like you have said, he is a 17-year-old and we need to keep his feet on the ground. But he is a good prospect and he sniffs some goals like he did against Chiefs.
“My job is to keep his feet on the ground, keep him focused and get him to the next level where I believe he can go.”
There has been a lot of excitement from football fans, who see the teenager as one of a kind.
Even kwaito star Arthur Mafokate got in on the act and suggested he be sent overseas, where, according to the musician, his talent will be better nurtured.
“Please try and get him a deal overseas before it’s too late. For four weeks I have been saying this,” Mafokate wrote on his Instagram page.
“And I think even trials might just assist his talent (to grow).”