Lyle Foster

How Kompany’s Bafana request sparked Lyle Foster’s early season form

Home » How Kompany’s Bafana request sparked Lyle Foster’s early season form

Burnley head coach Vincent Kompany made a special request for Bafana Bafana’s Hugo Broos to omit Lyle Foster from the squad to face Morocco during the end-of-season international game (AFCON qualifier) to prepare for an early preseason camp. 

The game was considered a dead rubber since both teams had already qualified for the 2024 AFCON tournament, this made Broos’ decision a lot easier, to the delight of Kompany.

Participating in the end-of-season international games would have seen Foster being handed an extended break, requiring him to report late for pre-season and risk finding himself down the pecking order.  

The newly promoted team was one of the first clubs to report for preseason ahead of the 2023-2024 season, with the South African striker being spotted as one of the earliest to report for camp. Foster took the opportunity to erase memories of his difficult start to his Turf Moor career, which had provided flashes of potential but drew more groans and moans from the Burnley crowd. 

“Against a weak opponent, that would be okay, but not against Morocco,” explained Broos. “Then came a phone call from Vincent Kompany. I know him (Kompany) well. I put him in the first team at Anderlecht when he was 17.

Lyle Foster in the gym

“He asked if Lyle could start the pre-season with them on June 5. I was happy he asked me. I said ‘yes’ because I was already thinking about not calling him. For him, I also think it is very important to start the pre-season with Burnley.”

The preseason workout helped Foster force his way into Kompany’s plans as the new season drew closer. Foster’s performances made the club rethink their transfer approach as they were linked with many experienced strikers, such as Joshua Zirkzee and former Burnley man Maxwell Cornet. 


A good preseason earned him a starting spot ahead of Premier League-proven pair Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodrigues. Barnes and Rodrigues were ahead of Foster in Burnley’s promotion push last season as the former Orlando Pirates man was still getting used to his then-new surroundings.  

Foster was named in the starting lineup for the club’s Premier League opener against reigning champions Manchester City. This was regarded as a display of Kompany’s trust in the Bafana striker. Foster made a good impression despite his team’s loss. 

OTHER SOCCER NEWS:Foster’s Burnley FC chasing new record

He used the City game as a springboard to establish himself as a starter, and he finally scored his first-ever Premier League goal against Aston Villa before adding a second goal in another game against high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.  Foster has seemingly endeared himself to the Burnley faithful, and he appears to be a vital part of Burnley’s first team picture.  Burnley is languishing in the relegation zone, and they will need Foster at his best to stay afloat this season. Their successive league encounter is against Nottingham Forest this weekend. 


Lyle Foster’s scoring form suggests he could find the back of the net more frequently as the season progresses. If he maintains his scoring form, he can emulate or even surpass Benni McCarthy’s long-standing South African record of 18 goals in a single Premier League season. Benni’s tally was achieved in the 2006-2007 season for Blackburn Rovers. It is the highest-scoring single-season tally by a South African player in the history of the Premier League. Foster needs 16 more strikes to equal the record.  

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