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While promising Orlando Pirates striker Boitumelo Radiopane says he wanted to stay at the Soweto giants and fight for his place, he believes working with Cape Town Spurs coach Shaun Bartlett can do wonders for his career.
Radiopane set the Diski Challenge scoring charts alight last season with 24 goals for Pirates’ reserve team. That saw many calling for him to be included in the senior side with the hope he could solve Bucs’ scoring problems.
Radiopane’s free-scoring form saw him being called up to the Bafana Bafana squad for last week’s Cosafa Cup in Durban and this week’s African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Comoros.
However, the 19-year-old has been sent out on loan by Pirates to Motsepe Foundation Championship (National First Division) side Spurs (formerly Ajax Cape Town).
Spurs are coached by Bartlett, one of the best strikers to be produced by SA who shone in some of the top leagues, including the English Premier League, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“I’m excited because this is the opportunity [to play first team football] I’ve always wanted and coach Shaun Bartlett is one of the former players I used to look up to,” Radiopane said.
“This is a great opportunity to play in the Motsepe Foundation league. At the moment I’m looking to take any opportunity given to me to help me grow.
“Yes, I wanted to stay and play at Pirates next season, but it didn’t happen that way. However, I will always remain grateful to Pirates for what they have done for me as a young player.”
Radiopane’s excellent season also saw him joining Mike Makaab’s agency Prosport International.
The teenager revealed that it was Makaab’s idea for him to go out on loan and work with Bartlett.
“For me it’s also a great opportunity to work with a person such as Mike Makaab because he is someone who has coached Pirates before and it was his decision for me to go to Cape Town Spurs and I’m really happy with that,” Radiopane said.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.