Orlando Pirates new signing Xola Mlambo reveals the struggles he faced at Bidvest Wits

Mlambo reveals the struggles that he had to contend with at the Braamfontein-based outfit a few weeks before his departure to the Buccaneers

Xola Mlambo recently completed his move to Orlando Pirates following a rather underwhelming stint at Bidvest Wits.

The 26-year-old, who joined the Students at the beginning of the 2016/2017 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season, failed to cement his place in coach Gavin Hunt’s starting XI as injuries and stern competition hampered his progress at the club.

This led to reports that both Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were plotting a move for his services as they looked to bolster their midfield.

But following weeks of hackling, it was the Sea Robbers who finally got secured his signature on a three-year deal.

Nonetheless, speaking in an interview with the Pirates official website, Mlambo has explained the struggles he experienced in his final few weeks in Braamfontein, revealing how he had to stop training with his now former club.

“There are a few faces in the team that I go back a long way with because of our collective past experiences,” Mlambo told the club’s website.

“Mpho Makola is special, he is more of a brother than a teammate for me. When things were bad and I didn’t train for three weeks because I was stopped from training with Wits, he was there for me in what was an extremely frustrating time for me. We chatted all the time and he always advised me and kept me believing that I am a quality player and that things will work out,” he added.

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Mlambo has also acknowledged the role Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena played in motivating him following his torrid time at Wits.

“Coach Rhulani was instrumental in keeping me motivated and ensuring that I continue to train hard during those three weeks when I was on my own,” he said.

“We go way back, even before I turned professional. I started working with him before I left the reserve team of Mamelodi Sundowns to join Cape Town All Stars,” he expressed.