Cape Town - Tawfeeq Salie is enjoying a breakthrough season at Maritzburg United.
Having worked under Ernst Middendorp, Steve Komphela and Mandla Ncikazi the 24-year-old is finally getting a run in the first team under new coach Clive Barker.
And he's talking his chance.
Salie has been in good form for the Team of Choice - his latest an impressive display at home to Kaizer Chiefs over the weekend when a string of fine saves kept his side ahead for most of the match before a 97th minute strike saw the spoils shared.
"I’m very pleased to get an opportunity to play. I waited long for it and finally it has come … I’m ready to take it with both hands," he said.
Salie is currently keeping Namibian number one Virgil Vries out of the starting line-up, and before this season he was also behind Shu-Aib Walters in the pecking order. But all that while Salie was learning from his more experienced colleagues.
“I’ve learnt a lot of things. Dealing with off the field problems, on the field … mentally you have to stay strong," he said.
"Those guys have been around for a long time and they’ve always motivated me to do well … to keep pushing."
And, like any young player, Salie has goals ... the first of which is to help ensure that Maritzburg are playing top-flight football next season.
"The first goal I’ve set myself is to try and help the club get out of where they are at the moment. And then to play a few more games … and one of my dreams and goals is to go and play in Europe," he said.
Maritzburg are currently bottom of the PSL log with one victory from 11 matches.