Cape Town - Bafana Bafana striker Kermit Erasmus says he is happy to be back in the national team fold, choosing not to discuss the reasons why his last international cap came in 2014.
The France-based player last donned his country’s jersey in the 2-2 draw clash against Nigeria on November of that year. In that match, he was replaced after 39 minutes.
He never played once under Shakes Mashaba.
Erasmus is now in Durban with the Bafana squad that will face Guinea-Bissau in an international friendly match pencilled in for Saturday at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
This will be followed by another friendly meeting with Angola on Tuesday, March 28 at Buffalo City Stadium in East London.
The matches kick off at 15:00 and 19:00, respectively.
"It’s a great opportunity, I am happy to be back in South Africa, it feels awesome because I haven’t been here in about a year, so I am really happy be to back in the national team setup and looking forward to the two upcoming matches," Erasmus said.
"Hopefully we can play some good and entertaining football and win those two games.
"Everybody knows the reason I was not here before but I don’t want to talk about the past. I am focused on the upcoming games.
"I have always wanted to represent my country and I am here now to do just that. I want to focus on the present and structure the future to make sure it looks bright."
Erasmus adds that although he is now getting regular game time in France, he is under no pressure to score goals for Bafana Bafana.
"As a footballer there is always pressure to produce what the fans want and what the team needs, so I don’t see it as pressure but a challenge,' he said.
"The good thing is that we have a lot of players that can contribute to scoring goals. Besides me there are other strikers, so we have take it upon ourselves as a collective to do well and hopefully we can produce what is needed."
He says being called up for friendly matches is not an issue, but playing for your country is key.
"There is an opportunity in every situation, and it’s what you make of it that matters. I am just trying to make the most of it, to give my best," he said.
"After all, it’s every footballer's dream to represent their country at the bigger stage.
"These two matches are preparations for us, and sort of a trial as individuals to prove to the coach that we are sticking our hands up to represent the country when major tournaments arrive.
"Everybody has a chance to prove themselves, it is up to all the individuals to grab the chance."
The former Orlando Pirates and Superport United player moved to France early in 2016 to join Stade Rennes in Ligue 1, but did not enjoy enough game time. He was then loaned to Ligue 1 side Lens where he is now a regular.
"Making a laon move to Lens has helped me a lot because now I am playing a lot, and I have helped the team get to the number one position on the league table," he said.
"So I am happy, the club is happy with my contribution and my progress, my coach is happy and so is my family – so this is a good period for me, not only about my career but also in my life in general."