Newly-signed Moroka Swallows striker Hareaipha 'Simba' Marumo is looking forward to making a big impression during his time with the Dube Birds.
The Free State-born target-man brings a wealth of experience to the team, having spent time playing in Europe before he was signed by Mamelodi Sundowns.
He didn't endure the happiest time at the Chloorkop-based side as injuries saw him side-lined for long periods, but he is now back to full fitness and is confident that he can finally realise the massive potential which many believe him to have.
SASoccer365's Anthony McLennan chatted to the 27-year-old to find out how is adapting to life in his new surroundings.
A.M: Hi Simba, thanks for taking time off from your busy schedule to chat to us. You have been with the team for a number of weeks now, how have you found the atmosphere in the Bird's nest?
Its been great, I've really being enjoying my time with Swallows as I have been warmly welcomed by everyone and I am quickly becoming accustomed to the way my new team-mates play.
A.M: Are there any of your new team-mates who have really impressed you, or have you been able to create a good understanding on the field of play with anyone in particular?
S.M: There is no-one I can single out, but I am finding myself able to combine well with everyone - soccer is soccer and one knows what to expect from professional players. It may still take a while for us to fully understand each others' strengths and weaknesses, and to gel completely, but I am happy with the progress that he been made so far.
A.M: Which Swallows defenders do you find are a real challenge to beat during training?
S.M: I respect all of them, but I have found that George Hummel is particularly quick and strong. However, I never let defenders get to me, I am not scared of anyone - they can rather worry about me.
A.M: And how have you found training under coach Gavin Hunt?
S.M: I have got on well with the coach so far and enjoy his training sessions very much because they are not too long, but rather intense and focussed, which I prefer.
A.M: The Dube Birds have made a number of new signings in the striking department during the off-season. Does it concern you that you will face some stiff competition for a place in the starting XI?
S.M: There is competition everywhere, that is the nature of the game and of life. I know that I have to work hard to earn a place in the starting line-up, but I will focus on my own game and not worry about others around me.
A.M: You have struggled with injury in the past, especially last season, when you missed almost the entire campaign with a shin problem. What would toy say to those detractors who claim you are prone to sitting on the side-lines?
S.M: I am fine - I feel very good physically and my fitness is picking up nicely. The injury I had last season has healed 100% - it feels like there was never problem and I am looking forward to giving it my all this season.
A.M: Having failed to make an impact during your time with Sundowns, did you feel that you had wasted your time with the Pretoria side?
S.M: I learnt a lot during my time there, both on a off the field, but for now I am just focused on playing regularly again and helping Swallows to mount challenge for the league and cups.
A.M: You are well known for the fact that you were at one stage on the books of Italian Giants Inter Milan. How old were you at the time and how did this move come about?
S.M: I was 19-years-old when I joined Inter. The move came after my agent at the time, Adriano Zurini, spotted me playing in a tournament in Welkom. He decided not to try and enroll me at a South African club as this could have made an overseas move difficult. Instead he arranged for me to move directly to Inter. At the time they had players like Ronaldo and Taribo West on their books, but I did not get to meet them as they were on World Cup duty and I was loaned out to a Bulgarian club soon after my arrival.
A.M: Your former team, Sundowns, is being tipped by many for league honours. Who do you feel will be the teams standing in the way of league glory for the Beautiful Birds?
S.M: Sure, Sundowns are a star-studded team, but whether they combine together on the field is another story. Chiefs were not a one man team when they won the league, and I still believe they will be challenging. But its hard to say, soccer is a funny game, and just like the ball, it keeps on turning.
A.M: Your ability in the air, as well as your knack of bringing other players into the game and setting up chances for team-mates is well known. What would you say your strong an weak points are?
S.M: I think that my passing vision and my finishing ability are my strengths. I don't want to reveal my weaknesses, otherwise others might capitalise on them!
A.M: Ok, we'll keep that a secret! All the best with your new team, Simba.
S.M: Thanks, I look forward to a great season.