Burnley coach Vincent Kompany lauds "mature" Lyle Foster

Burnley coach Vincent Kompany lauds "mature" Lyle Foster

Burnley coach Vincent Kompany has come out in defence of Bafana striker Lyle Foster.

The 23-year-old pulled out of the Africa Cup of Nations at the start of the year due to mental health issues.

Some supporters were confused as to why it appeared as if the former Westerlo player was still able to turn out for his Premier League club while seemingly snubbing his national team.

Burnley were relegated this past weekend, but the Clarets boss praised the player for willingness to disclose and deal with what he has been going through.

Foster, who scored five goals with provided three assists in 23 games during his debut Premier League season, is said to have been suicidal during his time in Belgium ahead of his move to England, where he has received nothing but support from his current club.

Reflecting on the situation, Kompany told Premier League Inside Matters: "I think Lyle did something very powerful by actually speaking up about it himself, and allowing us to speak about it.

"How he processed his situation was very, very mature for a young individual in the end. I think we've all learned through experiencing this with him you know."

Kompany added: "The difficulty with football is that so often it's the problem and as well it's the solution, so these players will be confronted with different states of mind because of the pressure of the job, because of the pressure of being a footballer and what it means.

"Sometimes it's not even towards the fans, it could be family, it could be your country, it could be your background, it could be your social media.

"So the stress of the hob and the demand of the performances as well, competition. But at the same time, it's what they love doing, to create this environment where these players actually see football as their happy place, the solution, and take them away from what they see as a dark place, it™s been for me a learning curve for me this year.

"Lyle has been massive in helping us to understand how to best support players that are facing the situation."