Xulu missed part of Maritzburg's preparations for 2017/18 before he joined the club as a free agent following an unproductive two-year stay with Kaizer Chiefs.
Nevertheless he starred for the Team of Choice in their best-ever fourth-place league finish and maiden Nedbank Cup final appearance where they lost to Free State Stars.
Xulu played in 35 games in all competitions and scored with three headers last term, with his efforts earning him a return to the Bafana Bafana fold and the PSL Defender of the Season award.
“Yes, it’ll get the best out of me," Xulu says.
“Last season I didn’t get enough of a pre-season and for me it was just a catch-up game. I was catching on with my fitness. I was catching on with my new teammates. But now it’s going to be different because I got enough time to be with the players, to be with the coach [Fadlu Davids].
“I know what is at stake. I know the requirements from the coach, from the club and the players.”
Xulu is confident United can match their exploits of 2017/18 going forward.
“For sure it can be done again. We can only improve as a team. I think last season it was the season of maturity.
“It was the season of maturing as players and as a team. I think this season we got enough to achieve even more. I think we can do it and win even one [piece of] silverware.”
Maritzburg will meet Golden Arrows at Princess Magogo Stadium in the KZN Premier’s Cup tomorrow before reviving hostilities with Abafana Bes'thende in their first league game of 2018/19 at Harry Gwala Stadium on August 5.