Cape Town - Orlando Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola admits he left Kaizer Chiefs as a youngster because of off-field problems that were of his own making.
Now 29, Makola was once considered a huge talent for the future and had youth spells with Chiefs, Wits and the Africa Youth Academy before joining Free State Stars as a professional in 2008.
He spent four years in Bloemfontein before joining Pirates in 2012 and provided more assists than any other player in the squad last season.
It has been a long road for the playmaker and he conceded things could have turned out very differently if he hadn't run into off-field problems as a youngster.
"I messed up at Chiefs. I played in the U13s, U15s and U17s. I played with Itumeleng Khune, Touch Mabaso and a lot of those guys," Makola told Soccer Laduma.
"When I was in the U17s, I started going off the rails and I didn't respect my football.
"I started doing the wrong things and I actually left Chiefs because, at that time, I wasn't playing regularly because of my misbehaviour off the field.
"I won't blame anyone. I could have made it to the first team if I had been disciplined enough," he concluded.