Cape Town - Orlando Pirates dribbling wizard Thabo Rakhale has described the club's run in the CAF Confederation Cup as a great learning experience.
Rakhale was on loan at Polokwane City when the club reached the final of the CAF Champions League in 2013, where they went down to Egyptian giants Al-Ahly.
He watched on as a frustrated figure after the club sent him out on loan for a second time, with his prospects of donning the famous black and white jersey looking increasingly bleak.
However, fast forward to 2015, Rakhale has played an integral role in the Buccaneers' run to the final, where he has scored four times.
"I don't think that I would have grown to be the player that I am today if it wasn't for this tournament," Rakhale told Vodacom Soccer.
"The demands, especially marking, were hard at first because I wasn't used to it. But I buckled down and told myself that I will do whatever it is that the club wants from me.
"I did that and managed to grow a lot as a player. I have matured a lot and I don't think that would have happened this quick if it wasn't for playing in the Confederation Cup."
Rakhale will look to continue his impressive form against Tunisian opposition when Pirates take on Etoile du Sahel in the second-leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final in Sousse.
"It would be ideal to finish this tournament as a champion, especially because of what it has done for my career," Rakhale added.
The two clubs played to a 1-1 draw in the first-leg at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
Kick-off at 16:00 (SA time).