Mofokeng, Campbell among shooting stars catching the eye in 2023-24 PSL

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Orlando Pirates' Relebohile Mofokeng is one of the young players who have caught the eye this season.
Orlando Pirates' Relebohile Mofokeng is one of the young players who have caught the eye this season.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Besides the rampaging run of Mamelodi Sundowns — who are unbeaten after 12 DStv Premiership matches, 11 of those wins — another highlight of the DStv Premiership campaign so far has been the emergence of young talent. 

Most coaches have given opportunities to younger players, and some have repaid the faith shown in them with good performances. 

TimesLIVE takes a look at six youngsters who have grabbed their opportunities with both hands with eye-catching performances in the opening half of the 2023-24 campaign: 

Relebohile Mofokeng, 19, Orlando Pirates 

Perhaps the best of the emerging South African talent, it was no surprise he was recently invited to attend trials with English Premiership side Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Mofokeng has taken the opportunity given to him by coach Jose Riveiro, impressing with his general play, ability to take on defenders, composure on the ball and synergy with Bucs' other strikers. 

However, with no goal and only two assists in all competitions, it goes without saying there is a lot of work to be done by the teenager. 

Shandre Campbell, 18, SuperSport United

He was the chief Pirates destroyer in their recent DStv Premiership meeting in Polokwane where SuperSport prevailed 3-1 as he scored a brace and provided the assist for the other goal. 

Campbell is an outrageously talented left-footed attacking winger who has exploded into a full-scale marvel with two goals and as many assists under coach Gavin Hunt. 

Jayden Adams, 22, Stellenbosch FC 

Another highly talented attacking midfielder who has set the local scene alight. His early career highlight will be helping Stellenbosch lift the Carling Knockout this season. 

He has been one of Stellenbosch’s consistent performers, making 12 out of 14 appearances in the DStv Premiership where he has scored three goals and provided an assist. 

It is no surprise Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has included him in the 50-man Africa Cup of Nations preliminary squad. 

Luke Baartman, 17, Cape Town Spurs 

There is nothing much to write home about for Cape Town Spurs so far this season as they are sitting dangerously at the foot of the DStv Premiership table with only four points from 14 games, but “Boere” has been one of their few shining lights. 

Last month, when he scored one of his two league goals this season against Kaizer Chiefs, he became the second-youngest player to score in the PSL after Siyabonga Mabena, 16, of Mamelodi Sundowns. 

Ime Okon, 19, SuperSport United 

Due to his undoubted talent, the lanky central defender has managed to keep the vastly experienced Siyanda Xulu on the bench at SuperSport after he was given an opportunity by Hunt. 

He is another youngster whose impressive performances have caught the eye of Bafana coach Broos to make his preliminary squad. Muscular in the challenge and with intelligence in positioning beyond his years, Okon has a big future ahead of him.

Thapelo Maseko, 20, Mamelodi Sundowns 

He had his doubters at the start of his Sundowns career as he struggled to adjust to the way of playing football at the club, but coach Rulani Mokwena has stuck with him whenever he is fit. 

Competition for places at Chloorkop is fierce but he is fighting for his position impressively at a star-studded Brazilians, who are negotiating through a congested fixture pile-up across six competitions. Another youngster in the frame for final Afcon selection. 

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