A former Kaizer Chiefs player has hit out at a lack of opportunities after being released by the Soweto giants.
From rising through the ranks at Naturena while earning caps as a junior international, Itumeleng 'Jomo' Shopane is now left without a club following the termination of his contract.
The 24-year-old spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Swallows in the GladAfrica Championship, making 18 appearances as The Birds won promotion to the DStv Premiership.
Shopane had spent last season on the sidelines after an unfortunate set of circumstances due to injury that sees him now as a free agent.
"In my case, I never got the chance at Chiefs even though I tried to put myself out there," Shopane tells KickOff.com.
"I won the Shield Player of the Tournament and then while at Swallows I got into the Under-23 squad which went to Egypt and qualified for the Olympics, so I felt I was pushing for myself.
"Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get a chance at all at Chiefs both before I went on loan and after I returned. If I had gotten a chance, then I would have felt like maybe I did something wrong or flopped but then the fact is that I just didn’t get a chance at all.
"The loan move to Swallows was a positive step which I felt would take me forward but then I couldn’t find the next step again to solidify the foundation. It is a sad tale of events but then it is not the end of the world."
Shopane added that the timing of Chiefs' decision has also made his attempts at finding a new club complicated.
"The Chiefs situation last season was draining, and it is sad that after seven years at Chiefs it has come to this," he added.
"Since winning the league with Swallows it all went sour for us at Chiefs, so I suppose this is now time to move on. I didn’t think they would terminate because I still had two years remaining on my contract, but I was told the coaches couldn’t fit me in their plans.
"They also told us that they can’t get us teams. I think the decision was that the club just didn’t want us anymore. The disadvantage in all of this is that they only made this decision to terminate so late when teams were done with pre-season which will make it difficult to get clubs.
"What is worse with me is that it has been long since I last played plus, I can’t afford not to play again this season. Last season I only played some friendly matches because I wasn't registered. My age mates are playing now so I need to get going as well."
See where Blom ranks amongst Chiefs youngest debutants since 2006 in the gallery below