Orlando Pirates Mofokeng

Mofokeng challenged by Shaune Mogaila of Royal AM. Photo: BackpagePix

How Pirates beat the likes of Chiefs to snap up teenage star

There is no doubt Pirates completed a great bit of business to sign teenager Relebohile Ratomo. Here’s how they did it.

Orlando Pirates Mofokeng

Mofokeng challenged by Shaune Mogaila of Royal AM. Photo: BackpagePix

This past season, 17-year-old DStv Diski Challenge attacker Relebohile Ratomo took the next step up in his career when he was named in the Pirates match day squad for a couple of key games towards the end of the campaign.

The youngster immediately showed his immense potential, having been snatched up by Pirates from the School of Excellence at a time when there was apparently also interest from the likes of Chiefs and Sundowns.

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In the latest edition of Soccer Laduma, his father Sechaba Mofokeng has described how the family was eventually persuaded to give Pirates a chance to develop the young talent.

“I’ll be honest, the other teams were busy talking in the papers only. Then fortunately, Pirates showed how serious they were. They came to our home, not once, not twice, but they came many times, more than five times. We kept postponing it and telling the club that we were busy and unavailable.

“It was like that until I spoke to my wife and told her ‘let’s give these people a chance and hear what they say’.”

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Pirates have pleaded for patience with the youngster

The rising star, who will be officially registered under the name Relebohile Mofokeng next season, scored one goal and managed an assist in his two senior appearances for Pirates’ first team.

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However, coach Jose Riveiro has cautioned against applying too much pressure too soon after the teenager scored in a 4-0 victory over AmaZulu.

“Ratomo is part of the starting XI in this team at the age of 17 and that tells a story of how good a player he is and could be in the future,” Riveiro said at the time.  “He is a young player, and we have to go little by little with him. We have to choose the right moments for him to play for us.  

“Like I said, if he is playing in our starting XI it means he is doing something right during the week. He fits into our gameplan and that is the reason we have brought him into the starting XI,” the Spaniard said.   

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You can see his debut goal below:

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