Cape Town - Orlando Pirates winger Thabo Rakhale sees his loan spell at Chippa United as a test of character and is determined to make the most of his time with the Chilli Boys.
Rakhale joined the Eastern Cape side on loan late last year, with Bucs boss Irvin Khoza leaving the door open for the player to make a return to Pirates in the future.
"It is not the end of him at Pirates. He is on loan at Chippa which means we can bring him back if he does well," Khoza said.
And the 27-year-old ball wizard, who debuted for Chippa against AmaZulu in a 2-0 win in Durban last weekend, says he is determined to show his mettle and prove his worth for the Chilli Boys.
"As a footballer you need to be prepared for such things," Rakhale told the media in Umlazi.
"We had players like Teko Modise, who went through some of the things I'm going through. Even the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, they always get criticised in the media for certain reasons.
"It is a test of your character; how strong you are with such things. Yes, things have been written about me but I'm here to play football.
"Whatever I've been through, it is water under the bridge."
Rakhale says he harbours no ill feelings towards Pirates for releasing him on loan and is ready to buckle down and reignite his career.
"I wasn't surprised. These kinds of things happen in football. Today you wake up and sleep knowing you are playing for a certain team and the next day there are headlines saying you are the first guy to go.
"The guys that I left there they are doing quite well. I'm not complaining and I'm not mourning. I'm here to play football. As long as I enjoy that then I will be happy. Football is not for the faint-hearted. You must be prepared for such things."
The Sebokeng-born midfielder says he is enjoying working with Chippa coach Teboho Moloi, the two having previously been at Pirates together during Moloi's time as assistant coach.
"It feels great to be the part of Chippa United set up. I can safely say I'm happy to be here. The guys here play the kind of football I enjoy and they have welcomed me.
"So far I'm settling in quite nicely. It is a great feeling to be reuniting with coach 'Tebza'. He knows what I'm capable of.
"He always pushes me, always makes sure that I perform to the best of my ability. When coach Tebza was at Pirates, I was consistent in my performances. He also promised to bring me back to that form that I use to show before. I’m happy to be at Chippa and I want to contribute to the team's performances," he added.