Meet Swallows' new left-back Giuricich

Mjempu is familiar to the South African set-up, having played for Ajax Cape Town and being owned by Orlando Pirates, but the latter is an unknown talent on the PSL front.

Still just 22 years old, Giuricich already has overseas experience. His Italian heritage provided him a chance of heading over to Italy in August 2008 where he went on trial for the reserve team of Serie B club Sassuolo.

However, an early injury forced him to return to Johannesburg to receive medical treatment before being recalled in 2009 to continue training with the side.

The versatile left-back, who can play as a left midfielder too, describes himself as a player who enjoys "attacking down the line and giving width to the team", was later snapped up by Serie C side Montichiari.

It was Giuricich's first professional contract and he believes his time in Italy has only improved his game.

"[Italy] had a very big effect on my game. The pace of the game that I was used to was a lot slower and so I had to hit the ground running from day one," he says.

"I improved greatly technically and tactically. I had to learn a great deal in order to bridge the gap between where I was and where I needed to be within the team.

"Italians are known as the 'maestros' for their tactics in world football and this was my first real experience of being taught the different tactics and modules of the game."

Further injury forced him to make another return home where he was afforded the opportunity by agent Francesco Ferreri to trial at Moroka Swallows under new coach Zeca Marques.

"This is the first time that I am working with him [Marques] and I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn from someone who has great knowledge of the game and countless experience," Giuricich adds.

"I began trialling with the team and started experiencing the unique culture present at the club.

"Swallows is one of the biggest and most prestigious teams within South Africa, and this alone made the prospect of signing with the club very exciting for me.

"Furthermore, there is a great team dynamic at the club and I am looking forward to joining the club and I hope to add value to the team and repay the confidence shown to me.

"I was very happy that the hard work I had put in over the weeks that I was on trial had paid off."

The details of the contract are yet to be finalized, but after having passed up the opportunity to study to make a career out of football, Giuricich will be eager to fly with the Birds this season.