“If you believe in God He will do wonders for you. I am now living my dream because of Him.”
These were the inspiring words from the rejuvenated Thuso Phala, who says he is spiritually and mentally strong now after some difficult episodes in his life.
After being given a lifeline by Platinum Stars when his career seemed to be going down, Phala said he wanted to repay their faith in him by signing a new contract with the club.
He has distanced himself from reports linking him with a move either to Kaizer Chiefs or Mamelodi Sundowns.
Phala (26), who has played for both teams before, says he owes it to the Phokeng-based team.
He has been a revelation in the Bafana Bafana camp, and said he was enjoying his game again after going through tough times at Chiefs and Downs.
His contract expires at the end of the season but he will not leave Stars for another local team.
“I’m really enjoying my game again and it’s a nice feeling,” said Phala.
But what has changed in Phala’s life to make him mend his wayward behaviour?
“I am the same person, the only difference is the environment I’m playing in and the surroundings.
“My confidence is back and I have matured spiritually and mentally, and that’s helped me turn my game around.”
He said he was no longer the same 21-year-old boy who joined Chiefs in 2007, but a grown man with a purpose in life.
But he said the moves to Chiefs and Sundowns had helped his development and he had learnt a lot during his stay at the two clubs.
“I don’t consider having failed there because I believe in life you only fail when you have given up. And I am still playing soccer so I will never say I’ve failed.
“It was a chapter that I had to go through. Football is a short career and movements happen for a reason. I am much stronger now and enjoying my game more than before.”
He said his dream of playing in the national team had materialised and he aimed to maintain his position in the team. Phala has already been named Man of the Match twice in the few games he has played for Bafana.
He conceded that the call-up came as a surprise.
“Sometimes you wonder what more players have to do to get national call-ups but I have been fortunate that my club form has been rewarded.”