Cape Town - AmaZulu left-back Marc van Heerden is unfazed by life in the National First Division, and hopes that Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba's unconventional selection policy means the call-up door will remain open.
Van Heerden, one of the most sought-after defenders in local football, will stick it out with Usuthu in South Africa's second tier this season following their relegation from the Absa Premiership last term.
And while no longer playing in the top flight, the South Africa international is confident he will still have national team chances, despite missing out on a call up for Bafana's next clash, against Group M rivals Mauritania in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying action on Saturday, September 5.
"At the end of the day, if a player is performing, regardless of the league they are playing in, I don't see why they should not get a national team call-up," Van Heerden told Sowetan Live.
"If the player is on form and basing our selections on merit, that's the only justifiable way of doing things.
"The NFD is not as easy a league as people think it is. Going down to the NFD is tough but it is still competitive and it will still be a challenge."