The 2011/12 PSL title-winning coach tells Goal the promising player can contribute to the success of the Soweto giants

Former Orlando Pirates academy director Augusto Palacios fails to understand why one of his products Thabiso Monyane has struggled for game time under coach Josef Zinnbauer. 

The 21-year-old attacker started just one match in the PSL during the recent 2020/21 season with Zinnbauer opting for seasoned and experienced players.

Having coached Monyane in the Pirates development academy, Palacios, 69, feels that the promising player has been deprived of the opportunity to develop and improve under the German tactician. 

“All players need to get the opportunity to play consistently, if a player doesn’t get an opportunity it means he won’t show his talent,” Palacios told Goal

“You give a young player one chance, second chance and then you decide against playing him. The player is frustrated and he has the talent. 

“Especially Thabiso, he lost his place in the Olympic squad because he was excluded from the Pirates team. I don’t know the reason, I don’t know what the coach [Zinnbauer] was doing.” 

Monyane, who is an experienced player and youth international, was excluded from the recent South Africa national under-23 squad that faced their Egyptian counterparts in two international friendly games earlier this month.

The former Augusto Palacios Apprentice Academy player helped South Africa win two Cosafa Under-20 Championship titles and he also represented his country at the 2015 Caf Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations and 2019 Fifa World Cup finals. 

Palacios is of the opinion Monyane has what it takes to be a regular in the Pirates starting line-up having come through the Soweto giants’ youth system. 

“I believe Thabiso can contribute to the success of Pirates. He has played in all youth structures. He has played for under-17 and under-19 youth teams [at Pirates],” he continued. 

“He has played in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, the MultiChoice Diski Challenge and he was then promoted to the first team.

“It is not only about Thabiso, but for any young player, because you don’t want to promote a player to keep him on the bench or keep him outside the matchday squad,” he added. 

“In that case, his promotion to the first team doesn’t make sense.”

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Zinnbauer has used Monyane mainly as a right-back and Palacios, who has coached Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs, believes the youngster is being played out of position. 

“His positions are right-wing and striker. Those are the positions I know he can play. Those are the positions I trained him in,” the Peru-born tactician concluded. 

Monyane was handed his PSL debut by coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic against Bloemfontein Celtic in August 2019 and he went on to make 18 appearances in the league in the 2019/20 season.