TS Galaxy Vice-Captain Given Msimango has revealed how a match against Orlando Pirates ultimately helped decide his future as a professional footballer.
Msimango, who started his career with Highlands Park after impressing for University of Johannesburg in the Varsity Football Cup has revealed that then Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama had offered that player a chance to join the relegated side.
"Initially, I had refused," Msimango told KickOff.
"I was studying full-time and I knew to join I would have to drop my studies at university. I wasn't willing to drop my studies to play in the NFD [now Motsepe Foundation Championship]."
Da Gama was convinced the side could return back to the top flight, and invited Msimango to a friendly match against Orlando Pirates.
"That [Pirates match] was the game I realised I could cut in the top flight of south African football. I wasn't nervous or star-struck and I was able to keep up with professional players from one of the biggest clubs," Msimango recalled.
After just one season in the National First Division, Highlands Park did return to the Absa Premiership. The centre-back also continued his studies part-time.
Following the club's sale to Tim Sukazi and subsequent switch to TS Galaxy, The 25-year-old has grown to be one of The Rockets' most important players. Msimango has played every single minute of every TS Galaxy match so far this season.
He’s also collected two Man of the Match performances along the way, one during The Rockets 0-0 draw against Richards Bay in September and the second, during a 2-2 draw against Kaizer Chiefs in October.
Msimango and Co will return to DStv Premiership action when they lock horns against bottom-of-the-table Maritzburg United on 30 December.
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