Bafana Bafana’s Sphelele Ntshangase is delighted at the call up to the Senior Men’s National Team to face Gambia on Saturday.

Bafana Bafana’s Sphelele Ntshangase is delighted at the call up to the Senior Men’s National Team to face Gambia on Saturday, 13 June 2015 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

This will be in the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 qualifiers. Kick-off is at 15h00.

Ntshangase returns to Bafana Bafana for the second time – he was part of the squad that played against Swaziland, where he made his debut, as well as Nigeria earlier this year. At the time of the call-up he was doing duty with the National Under-23 squad in preparation for the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympic qualifiers.

“It is every player’s dream to play for Bafana Bafana, and it is not all the players who will be called up to the national team. So I would like to thank everyone who has supported me up to this point,” said Ntshangase.

“My focus was on the National U23 squad but I was delighted when I heard that I had been called up to Bafana Bafana which means there are things I am doing right and I just need to continue with that, even though there is still a lot a learn. I have been here before and played against Swaziland earlier this year and I also learnt a lot during that time.

Ntshangase, of Black Leopards, is one of two players in the current squad that play in the National First Division (NFD) – the other is Gift Motupa of Baroka FC.

“Many people ask me how I made it to Bafana Bafana and my only response is that I work hard in everything I do and I guess it goes for every player. If you work hard you will be rewarded,” added Ntshangase.

“I have always looked up to many of the players here and to be with them in the same team is a great honour and perhaps a dream come true. The likes of Thulani Serero, May Mahlangu and others are encouraging me that if I work hard I can be where they are now.”

The KwaZulu Natal-born forward is optimistic about Bafana Bafana’s chances on Saturday in his province.

“Preparations are going well, and I believe even though it’s going to be a difficult game, we will do well. We are all working hard and determined to get a good result as it will be a very important one since it’s the first match of the qualifiers. You can see the players at training how willing they are to fight, which is a sign of wanting to do well for the country,” said Ntshangase.

“It would be wonderful to play on Saturday, but I know the coaches will pick those who deserve to play, and should I be the one, I will grab the opportunity with both hands. I would also like to call upon the people of KZN and surrounding areas to come in numbers to support us and they won’t be disappointed.”

Ntshangase earned his first cap when he came on for fellow striker Lehlohonolo Majoro in the second half of the international friendly match against Swaziland earlier this year (25 March) in Mbabane. South Africa won the clash 3-1.