Eleazar Rodgers happy to be back in Bafana Bafana fold
Posted: 23 September 2016 Time: 17:30
Bidvest Wits striker Eleazar Rodgers has expressed his delight at being called up to the Bafana Bafana squad for their back-to-back fixtures against Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Rodgers was a surprise inclusion in Shakes Mashaba's 25-man squad on Friday, for their opening 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier and friendly international against Ghana next month.
However, the announcement did not come as much of a shock to the 31-year-old front-man, who was last called-up back in 2012 under then coach Pitso Mosimane, as he had been hoping for a national team return since then.
"Yeah, it's a good achievement and I feel really good about it," Rodgers tells KickOff.com.
"I've had two previous opportunities and I've been hoping for a third. This time around it came and I'm quite happy about it."
The former Santos goalpoacher is ready to grab the opportunity with both hands in order to leave a positive imprint of himself in the Bafana jersey, with an eye on perhaps featuring at the World Cup finals in Russia in two years time.
"Yes, definitely, it's a good opportunity [to stake my claim] and we all have to make the best of these opportunities as they don't come all the time, especially in my case now so I'm grateful for it," he adds.
"I mean, representing the country is one thing but playing is also another, so I hope I can do something with my opportunity and hopefully I get a chance."
Having joined The Clever Boys from Platinum Stars in the recent tranfer window, Rodgers believes his hard work at his new club has paid off and hopes to be the solution to Shakes Mashaba's goalscoring woes.
"It means a lot for me to be back, and it shows that I have been working hard and the coach has noticed what I was doing.
"I haven't been scoring a lot of goals but I have been helping my teammates to score with my hard work, and obviously that's noticeable because the team is doing well, so I hope I can continue to contribute.
He concluded: "Most definitely, I think I can help [with the goalscoring problems]. I bring something different to the team and sometimes that can be good for the team.
"It also depends how we are going to play on the day, but at my best I know I will definitely contribute."
Rodgers will be in action for his club when they host Orlando Pirates in a top-of-the-table Absa Premiership clash at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday evening.