IT'S taken almost a decade for Asaeli Vula to step closer to his rugby dream after being selected in the Vodafone Fiji 7s training squad this week.
After doing the hard yards at training back in his village of Lauwaki, Lautoka, the 28-year old playmaker is over the moon now that he's starting to reap the fruits of his perseverance and sacrifice.
Vula believes his selection in the national training squad will inspire him to fulfil a rugby goal he set nine years ago.
The Westfield Tokatoka Barbarians 7s flyhalf has set his sights on making his debut in the abbreviated game for Fiji this year.
"I started playing 7s rugby when I was 19 years old and it has been my dream to represent the country," said Vula.
"I have been part of many winning teams in local tournaments but I have always been unlucky not to be selected in the national team.
"But I never lost hope. Now coach Ben Ryan has asked me to join the training 7s squad.
"It took me more than nine years to get close to my dream and there is no turning back now."
Vula who has been the lynchpin of some of the Tokatoka Barbarians' memorable victories could provide the answer to Fiji 7s playmaker woes.
There have been suggestions by rugby pundits and fans that Fiji 7s no longer has playmakers or X-factors like Waisale Serevi, Wiliam Ryder, Emosi Vucago, Metuisela Talebula and Nikola Matawalu.
And with close to 10 years of 7s experience, the Tokatoka playmaker could force his way into the final selection if he meets the requirements set by Ryan.
Vula will battle against players such as Emosi Mulevoro, Henry Seniloli and schoolboy Waisea Daroko for the playmaker's position during training before the final team for Japan and Hong Kong 7s is selected next month.
And with the support of his fellow Tokatoka Barbarians teammates Pio Tuwai and Samu Saqiwa in the national team, Vula could eventually make his dream of a decade ago, a reality.