Bright future for young star

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell believes goalkeeper Tando Velaphi's inclusion in the Socceroos' squad for this week's Asian Cup qualifying clash with Kuwait could just be the start of brighter things to come for the young stopper.

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell believes goalkeeper Tando Velaphi's inclusion in the Socceroos' squad for this week's Asian Cup qualifying clash with Kuwait could just be the start of brighter things to come for the young stopper.

The Glory coach is convinced being in camp with the Socceroos and learning from coach Pim Verbeek will boost Velaphi's confidence, giving him a taste of the rewards on offer if he continues to work hard and develop as a player.

"Just going to the Socceroos' camp gives everyone a lift," Mitchell said.

"He would have been there training hard and he'll be coming back here and I'm pretty sure with a lot of confidence gained from it."

Renowned as one of the best reflex shot stoppers in the land, Velaphi has come of age this season as the club-s number one goal keeper.

"Tando Velaphi has been touted as one of the best young keepers in Australia (but) I think one of the biggest handicaps that Tando's had, everywhere he's gone he's always been number two and not played regularly enough."

"That's been with the AIS, he didn't play a game so he developed in a coaching sense but in a playing sense, he didn't get much experience there and then he was with the Olympic team and he was No. 2 there."

"Then he was with us and he was No.2 as well," Mitchell added, referring to the start of the 2008-09 campaign where Velaphi found himself behind veterans Frank Juric and Jason Petkovic before earning selection in Round 8 of that year and not looking back.

"(So) this year has been a fundamental year from start to finish," Mitchell said.

"He's been our No. 1 'keeper and doing well and this is a great confidence boost for him to be involved in the Socceroos and to just cement his status as a very good, promising young goalkeeper that can reach the heights."

Velaphi himself, isn't getting carried away with his selection, knowing all too well the Hyundai A-League brigade is only getting the opportunity as the midweek Asian Cup fixture doesn't fall in a FIFA-approved international period, meaning many of Verbeek's top European players are unavailable.

But as he's done so often in the past, Velaphi is looking to learn from the experience to keep building his own game, a task made easier by the presence of several Glory favourites in the Socceroos' camp, including current team-mates Jacob Burns and Mile Sterjovski and a former one in Nikita Rukavytsya.

"It's fantastic obviously to have those boys around and obviously it makes it a little bit easier for me in my first camp knowing those guys," said Velaphi from the middle east.

"It's great to have guys from Glory and the WA boys involved as well and hopefully we can keep that up for more camps to come."

"I was really excited obviously (to come here)," he added. "As a young player you want to be involved with the Socceroos, (so) it's my first camp and I'm really excited and looking forward to the experience."