Tefu targets Bafana spot
Tefu Mashamaite (Backpage)
Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs defender Tefu Mashamaite hopes he is on the Bafana Bafana radar three months before South Africa hosts the showpiece African Nations Cup.
Bafana play an international friendly against Kenya on Tuesday, and Mashamaite has put his hand up in national soccer coach Gordon Igesund's search for a national side aiming to make the semi-finals of AFCON 2013, as mandated by the South African Football Association (SAFA).
"I watched the African Nations Cup in 1996 as a kid," said Mashamaite, 28, at the Premier Soccer League's offices on Tuesday.
"Just to get another opportunity to be there with the team will [be] something that I will put as a highlight of my career."
Mashamaite, in his second season for the Amakhosi, believes he is ready to make the step up to the national team.
"Right now it can be fairly said a national team call-up is something that I'm really working towards. If I get the nod to take it [I will] and it will be an honour.
"Life is always about shifting the goalposts. You want to get to a professional side and once you get there you want to get to a national team and win things."
Chiefs are top of the Premiership table after seven matches, but the key to their success has been their defence, where they have conceded just three goals.
There were concerns in August for the Soweto side when experienced Bafana defender Morgan Gould was ruled out with a serious Achilles tendon injury, but Mashamaite has since cemented his place in the Chiefs line-up.
"I don't believe in the concept of pressure. I believe as soon as you wake up there's some kind of a pressure and direction so it's basically about how you look at life.
"It's about perception. It's whether you look at it as a challenge or something that's going to hamper you."
Mashamaite, however, explained his hard work would have paid off even if Gould had not been injured.
"I don't think it's a case of trying to do as much when people are away.
"For me I feel like I've done enough and worked hard enough to deserve a place in the starting team. Whether there's injuries or whatever, I feel like this is the season that I'm really going to establish myself.
"It started with me working hard and realising what I had to do to be a Chiefs player. I know a lot has been read into what transpired last season and I believe I was still adjusting to the situation.
"We react to situations differently and I took my time to adjust, and right now it's just my time to express myself fully."