Cape Town - Orlando Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola has revealed that Steve Komphela's words of advice helped him retain hope of receiving a Bafana call-up.
The 29-year-old has been one of the stand-out performers for Pirates this season, playing in all three of their Premiership fixtures as well as their CAF Confederations Cup campaign.
It was his performances in the Confed Cup that prompted Bafana boss Shakes Mashaba to hand him a call-up, and the midfielder could well make his debut in Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mauritania.
When asked why he thought it had taken such a long time to receive his first call-up, Makola told Football411: "I don't really know why it has taken so long to come, I can't really say.
"But I think it has come because of all the hard work that I've been putting in you know.
"I think I did well last season and that hard work is starting to pay off.
"I've been told by a lot of people that it would come.
"Even during my time at Free State, Coach Steve [Komphela] always encouraged me and always told me that I deserved it and it would come.
"He told me not to lose hope or be disheartened because I was talented enough, ever since then I never lost hope."
While Makola credits hard work and sheer determination for his current success, he was also quick to point out that his friends and family played a big role in keeping his on track.
He added: "I have an unbelievable support structure my brother. My teammates are the ones who push me the most, they've supported me through it all and always told me not to complain.
"My family has also been there and so have been my friends in football from other teams like Manti [Moholo, Maritzburg United], Lebo [Manyama, Mpumalanga Black Aces] and Thabo [Moloi, Free State Stars]."