Cape Town - Ayanda Gcaba admits he was honoured to have received a call up to the South Africa team as a replacement for the injured Patrick Phungwayo.
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The left-back was brought into Bafana Bafana's 2015 Africa Cup of Nations setup this weekend after his Orlando Pirates team-mate Phungwayo was forced out with a knee problem.
Gcaba will now link up with the rest of the South Africa squad at their training camp in Gabon as they gear up for this month's Equatorial Guinea showpiece.
"It's an honour for me and my family that I received the call to represent my country at such a tournament. I would like to thank coach Shakes (Mashaba) and his technical team for thinking that I could do the job," Gcaba told Orlando Pirates' official website.
"The whole thing was unexpected when you consider all the guys who play left back and left wing so I was quite surprised. (Pirates administrative manager) Floyd (Mbele) called me to let me know that the club had received the call from SAFA. It started becoming real when we had to scan passports and arrange all the VISA documentation."
Gcaba feels his performances during last season's CAF Champions League campaign, where he helped lead the Soweto giants to the final, played a key role in convincing Mashaba to hand him the call to arms.
He said: "I'm sure it had to do with it (CAF Champions' League). We had a good run in that tournament, and against all odds we made it to the final under hostile conditions all the way through.
"You have to be tough, both physically and mentally to do well in any African competition and I think that having Oupa (Manyisa), Andile (Jali) and Thabo (Matlaba) in the national setup will do us all a great service."