Cape Town - Bidvest Wits midfielder Xola Mlambo says it was a 'blessing in disguise' when he was released by National First Division side Cape Town All Stars.
Mlambo was at All Stars under coach Dan Malesela at the start of last season. But he was released by the second tier side shortly after Malesela departed for Chippa United.
Mlambo then joined his former coach at the Eastern Cape club shortly after that and soon became a key player for the Chilli Boys, looking very much at ease in the top-flight.
His form caught the eye of Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt and a move followed to Johannesburg ahead of the current season.
"Being released by Cape Town All Stars was a blessing in disguise," the central midfield schemer told The Star.
"If I didn't take it as a man, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I have to be grateful to the people who gave me the opportunity after I had a setback.
"They believed in me and gave me an opportunity to continue in my career because they saw potential in me. I think that I didn't disappoint, which is why I am where I am now."
The 25-year-old, who will face his former club when the Students clash with Chippa on Tuesday night at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, is also looking forward to his team's upcoming Champions League tie against African giants Al Ahly - the first leg game is in Cairo on Saturday.
"We have players who have been in the game for some time, players who have faced Al-Ahly before, looking at the likes of Daine Klate, Moeneeb Josephs and Sifiso Myeni," Mlambo explained.
"They have been there. They make everyone's job easier. They have shared their experiences with all of us. It will be a good experience to go to Al-Ahly and I am sure whoever will be left behind will be disappointed," he added.