Pretoria - University of Pretoria defender Junior Sibande has said national team coach Shakes Mashaba's willingness to select youngsters for the national side has encouraged him to work harder and wait for his chance.
"Coach Shakes has showed that he is not afraid of playing inexperienced players in the national squad," Sibande said on Tuesday.
"It feels like youngsters are no longer overlooked anymore. I think he is a brilliant coach, who is spoken highly of and knows what he is doing."
Mashaba has continued to raise eyebrows by selecting unknown players in the national squad.
The coach was bold enough to call up young recruits like Rivaldo Coetzee (18), Dumisani Msibi (19), Fargrie Lakay (17) and Nana Ntuli (18) for national duty.
Sibande, aged 21, said he was not only speaking for himself but also for the other young players who were knocking on the Bafana selection door.
"It does give us motivation that one day our time will come. If you look at the team, we have players there that wouldn’t have been given a shot before and that's good to see."
Sibande has been part of Steve Barker's first team for a number of years, having played a role in their promotion clinching season in 2012.
Having represented the country at under-20 level, Sibande said it would be a career highlight to crack the nod for Bafana.
"Of course it's every players dream to play for their national team. And Shakes has just given more players the belief that if you work hard enough you can get a chance."
In the interim, Sibande said he would focus on helping his team rise on the log standings. Tuks' record of five losses, two wins and three draws has ploughed them to 14th place on the table, with only one point separating them and Platinum Stars in 15th.
Sibande said the team had been working hard to turn the corner and overcome the recent slump in form.
"We have been working on areas that have been our weakness during the break. We have the quality to do well in the league as long as we execute during matches."
AmaTuks will look to make the climb up the table when they return to Premiership action on Saturday against Moroka Swallows at the Dobsonville Stadium.