Bafana Bafana legend Shaun Bartlett has issued a warning to his fellow countryman and Burnley striker Lyle Foster that the English Premier League will be tough to adapt to due to supporters.

Foster’s Burnley have ensured automatic promotion to the Premier League for the 2023/24 season. They beat promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough 2-1 on last week Friday, with seven games to spare after Luton Town could only draw with Millwall.

The 22-year-old former Orlando Pirates striker completed his long-awaited move to England from Belgium’s KVC Westerlo in January on a reported fee worth €7m (R131m).

SHAUN BARTLETT WARNING

With a vast experience of playing in the European top leagues, the former Kaizer Chiefs striker has urged Foster to give his best as he sent him a stern warning.

“Foster will learn how fun and difficult it is to play in a world-renowned league. He will be competing against the best players in the world.

This could end up making Foster not get game time,” said Bartlett as quoted by Isolezwe.

Shaun Bartlett fires warning to Shaun Bartlett fires warning to Lyle Foster
Shaun Bartlett fires warning to Shaun Bartlett fires warning to Lyle Foster


“Who knows, maybe the coach will change. He must not give up, he must make sure that he absorbs the knowledge from these experienced players. We also felt no panic. I have seen Foster play many times. If he does what I say, South Africa will be one of the countries with internationally respected strikers.”

The Cape Town Spurs head coach knows the pressure that comes with playing in England. He played for Charlton Athletic two decades ago.

Also read: Burnley move a childhood dream for Lyle Foster 

Bartlett has stressed that it is tough for players to adjust to the Premier League, and it won’t be easy for Foster as well due to the pressure of the fans.

“The pressure from the fans will be much stronger than before. Next season, Burnley will face teams like Chelsea, Manchester City and others,” he said.

“Although Burnley will be a team that will be underrated by many, but for its fans it is not the case. They will not stand for a player who will let them down. I would advise Foster not to train with the team only, he should also train alone too much.”

By Clifton Mabasa

Burnley striker Lyle Foster has expressed his delight at being back in the Bafana Bafana team setup ahead of Afcon qualifies.

Foster was called up for Hugo Broos 23-man squad of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia. South Africa will take on the Liberians at FNB Stadium on Friday, 24 March at 18:00. 

Also read: Monnapule Saleng wants to be a regular in the Bafana Bafana line-up

Also read: Burnley move a childhood dream for Lyle Foster 

Six points would see South Africa qualifying for the 2024 showpiece in the Ivory Coast. The 23-year-old missed out when South Africa played against Angola and Mozambique in recent friendly matches. 

“I am very grateful to be here again after missing the last two games. Thanks to the coach for the confidence to be with the group again,” he told the media. 

“I am just excited just to be getting on to work hard for the two games coming and hopefully we can get the results. The boys are focused and there is a good spirit in the team and it is also nice to see familiar faces again.”

Also read: Senegal beat Gambia to win U/20 Africa Cup of Nations

Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams who also joined the rest of his teammates on Monday says the team is ready for the big challenge.

“I know the challenges that lie ahead but the boys are looking focused,” he said. 

“The spirit in the team is good. We are waiting for a few more players to join the camp so that we can start focusing.

“So I am just happy to be part of the team again and see so many familiar faces and obviously few new ones that have done extremely well.”

Bafana Bafana striker Lyle Foster admits that the initial interest by Burnley caught him by surprise. 

Foster has been signed by the Championship club on a four-and-a-half-year deal. The 22-year-old was signed from Belgian side Westerlo. The former Orlando Pirates and Monaco forward has been in fine form this season.  He had eight goals halfway through the season before his move to England. 

“If I am being honest I was a bit surprised but I was honoured at the time,” Foster told the club’s media.

LYLE FOSTER SETTLING WELL IN BURNLEY 

“A bit up and down to be fair. A lot is going on in my head but I’m just happy that it’s done and I’m here. 

“Like you said I came through the ranks at Orlando Pirates and I was there for quite some time and I loved my years there.

“Where I am in South Africa, English football is the league we all follow so for me as a kid growing up it was always a dream to come to England.

Vincent Kompany and Lyle Foster
Vincent Kompany and Lyle Foster

IT STILL FEELS UNREAL 

“So like I said when I got the call that Burnley wanted me it felt unreal. It’s a childhood dream for me to come through. So I am so happy to be here and so happy to come and share my talent. To enjoy football where football started I think.”

ON WORKING WITH VINCENT KOMPANY 

“From the moment I got here, felt very welcome and I have been following and watching a lot of Burnley games recently. I really enjoy their style of play and I think he is a great coach (Vincent Kompany). For me to be coached by a legend like him is an honour for me.

“I grew up watching him play and I played one game against him. Now him being my coach and getting to learn and absorb that knowledge I think for me is a dream come true.” 

It’s not yet clear if Foster will make his debut during the FA fourth round matches against Ipswich on Friday evening.