Cape Town - Cape Town City defender Giannis Potouridis is delighted to have started the side's last two games and is aiming to become a first-team regular.
Potouridis joined the club in late October and came with quite a reputation as a Greek Under-17 international who made his name with Greek giants Olympiakos where he won the league title.
The 27-year-old has had to wait patiently for his chance in the first team and did not disappoint in his first start, scooping the man-of-the-match award in the 2-0 victory over Bidvest Wits on Saturday, January 18.
Potouridis followed that performance up with another accomplished display in the 1-0 victory over Black Leopards as Jan Olde Riekerink's side kept their second successive clean sheet.
Olde Riekerink now has a difficult decision to make with defensive general Taariq Fielies returning from the suspension over whether to drop one of Keanu Cupido or Potouridis to allow for Fielies to come back into the starting lineup.
"The hard work I've put in is paying dividends," Potouridis told IOL.
"But the credit must go to the team first and foremost, the boys have worked hard to turn around our season under coach Jan Olde Riekerink and the wins we've had this year have lifted the spirits in the camp.
"When I arrived at the club in late October, I knew I had my work cut out," he continued. "Adjusting to the pace and speed of the game was always going to be a challenge but my thinking got faster by training with guys who have played in this league for many years, so I could respond better to the new environment.
"I knew I had to work hard and give 100% to get the opportunity when given by the coach. I feel like I am being brought into the team slowly but in time I'm sure I will earn a regular place. It definitely inspires you to keep pushing hard and giving your best in matches."
"I'm hoping to be in the run-on 11," said Potouridis. "It's going to be a difficult game at Maritzburg. We must be determined to get another positive result. We have this momentum going with us, so we need to use it and keep giving our best to get a good result."
Meanwhile, City are back in action on Friday evening against Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership encounter.
Kick-off is at 20:00.
- TeamTalk Media