Jabulani Shongwe stays put at Highlands Park
Hard-nosed midfielder Jabulani Shongwe has confirmed his stay at Highlands Park, aiming to rediscover the kind of form that saw him attract interest from big guns Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in 2016.
Shongwe, who joined Highlands on a six-month deal in March from Chippa United, was one of the league's hot properties in the 2015/2016 campaign at Bidvest Wits. However, the 29-year-old's rich vein in form at the university side was short-lived as he was frozen out the entire campaign when Wits clinched the league title the next season.
"I am not leaving Highlands. My contract was renewed for another year,'' said Shongwe.
"Last season I joined the club very late. I had no time to adapt. But this season I am here from the start. I want to return to my old self. Judging by the pre-season we have had, I am optimistic that people will see the Jabulani who did well at Wits.''
The central midfielder from Witbank, Mpumalanga, also shed some light on his 2016/2017 season at Wits and feels the tribulations at Sturrock Park toughened his character.
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"It was frustrating to sit and watch football from the stands. I dropped my head. It affected me. But now I think all those tough times helped me grow. I am a stronger person now and I can stand any difficulty in life.
"The support from my manager [Jazzman Mahlakgane] and my family has kept me going. I have kids, so I had to continue believing that hard work would eventually pay off.'' Highlands open their league campaign by hosting Chiefs at Makhulong Stadium on August 4.