Cape Town - Orlando Pirates Head of Youth Development Augusto Palacios believes players reaching their peak at 26 like Teko Modise did is an exception to the norm.
The experienced former Pirates coach takes the view that young players should be developed from the age of nine so that they mature and peak at the right time later on.
Speaking to Soccer Laduma website, he said: "I believe that in order for South African soccer to be at a higher standard, we need to start developing these players from the tender age of nine because this is where you can identify their strengths and weaknesses.
"Some coaches only want to polish players when they are between the ages of 17 and 19 which is too late.
"Not all players are as lucky as Teko Modise, who reached the peak of his career at the age of 26. That is considered late for any other footballer's career."
In addition, the Peruvian mentor lauded the Discovery Walter Sisulu Challenge for helping unearth young talent.
He concluded: "Such tournaments give players a platform to be scouted by coaches like myself, especially since the tournament takes place during the December school holidays.
"It is a refinement ground because there is less PSL action happening so clubs have enough time to come and seek new talent. Most people think that once a player has been scouted, it ends there. Yet, we need to evaluate the capacity of talent the player has."