Cape Town - Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela believes rising stars must be blooded earlier in South African football as a 24-year-old is considered old.
Komphela was speaking in reference to the progress of Sanele Mathenjwa who made his debut this season despite approaching his 24th birthday in October.
The former Kaizer Chiefs mentor is no stranger to throwing youngsters into the deep end as he gave the likes of Siyabonga Ngezana, Wiseman Meyiwa and Bruce Bvuma their chance for the glamour Boys.
After the 1-1 draw on 14 April against AmaZulu, Komphela said of Mathenjwa: "He's a very talented player but we need to be honest, a 24-year-old player can only clinch three contracts of two years, there's no time, he's old, we should've seen him a long time ago.
"As coaches we must be brave. I know at times we try to save our jobs and pressure, but we must move away from thinking 24s are youngsters, it's high time we assume the maturity of any player starts at a younger age.
"We are leaders of society, everything we do can make a huge impact in a human's life. I'm not a coach, I'm a teacher and an activist of change in the community.
"If there's no tangible success in football like cups and there's one in human life, then I'm happy. It's all about changing lives. Plant a seed and walk away."