Growing up in South Australia all Daniel Margush wanted to do was play for Adelaide United. As a kid he went to Hindmarsh Stadium to see the Reds play and dreamed of one day representing his hometown.
That dream became a reality and after coming through the youth-team, he debuted in the A-League in 2016.
But regular opportunities never came and in January 2020 the young goalkeeper left the club to join Perth Glory to push for first-team football.
But last season proved fruitless in the west and in November he moved again, this time landing at Western Sydney Wanderers.
It’s a move that has paid off handsomely as Margush has started every game this season for the red and black, after Daniel Lopar’s departure, and the Wanderers now sit in third on the ladder.
The 23-year-old has been a solid presence between the posts and is second in the A-League for the most saves.
“Initially I was at Adelaide and I kind of knew I would always have to leave Adelaide because [Paul] Izzo was there at the time and doing well,” he told The World Game.
“So that’s why I went to Perth, to try and go somewhere I could have an opportunity to play. And my intentions were to stay at Perth but in the off-season I got a call from the Wanderers offering me this opportunity and I thought I would regret it if I didn’t take it, because I really did think I would have the chance to play.
“And that’s the way it’s panned out at the moment. One of the problems we have with the amount of teams we have in the country - it’s very hard particularly for goalkeepers as there’s only one position, it’s hard for goalkeepers to play.
“And as a young goalkeeper if you’re not playing minutes, no matter how much you train, it’s the game-time that really affects the way you progress, your decision-making and timing gets better.
"So now that I’ve got the chance to play I’m really trying to grab it with both hands and just run with it.
“I’m enjoying the start of the season. I think we’ve done pretty well, considering it’s pretty much fundamentally a new team and a new coach as well, so we’re still trying to gel together and learn a new philosophy.
“But I think we’ve done a good job and we’re only going to get better from here on out.”
Western Sydney have lost only one of their first five games and Margush has already notched one cleansheet.
The keeper, who has represented Australia at both under-20 and under-23 level, has caught the eye but is not resting on his laurels.
“There’s still things to improve on, there always will be,” he admitted. “But I’m happy with the way I’m going.
"I never get too complacent, I keep my feet on the ground and I just want to do better every game. I’m still young, I’m going to make mistakes like any goalkeeper will do.
“But that’s how I learn. I’m happy I’ve got a manager who believes in me and a team that believes in me, and they’ve given me a real opportunity to prove myself and now I just want to pay it back to them.”
Margush has enjoyed working under Wanderers boss Carl Robinson, who has instilled confidence in him.
“Carl’s a great guy, first of all, and his people management skills are the best I’ve come across so far,” he said.
“I’m not alone in saying he’s a very good manager, I think all the boys have a very high opinion of him.
"The kind of football he wants to play is very attractive as well and it’s the kind of football I like to be a part of.”
Margush played for the Olyroos in 2019 and harbours ambitions of going to Tokyo with the Australian squad later this year
However, for now he is fixated on Western Sydney and continuing the club’s promising start to the A-League campaign.
The Wanderers take on neighbours Macarthur, who they lost to in round one, this Saturday.
“It’s exciting,” the shot-stopper said.
“We’ve played them before so we can analyse that game and look at what we did right, what we did wrong, what we can improve on - and give it another good crack this time round.”