Orlando Pirates star Thembinkosi Lorch waited in anticipation for Bafana Bafana call-up
Posted: 11 October 2018 Time: 09:00
Orlando Pirates midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch says his call-up to the national team came as no surprise as he had been working hard for the opportunity.
Lorch was roped into the Bafana Bafana camp as a replacement for Pirates teammate Vincent Pule, who was ruled out through a knee injury earlier this week.
The 25-year-old winger earned his spot after impressing for his club over the last month, scoring two goals and managing two assists in three games.
Though it came at short notice, he was confident that his return to the setup after making his senior international debut in March was on the horizon.
“I was not surprised by the call-up though. In fact, I was expecting it. I knew that it would come one day and my instincts told me it was around the corner," Lorch told SAFA media.
"I have been working really hard and I am glad my work has been rewarded.”
The former Maluti FET College attacker has had quite the rise from the lower ranks of South African football to where he currently finds himself.
Lorch was signed by The Buccaneers after impressing for his then ABC Motsepe League side in 2015, but was sent out on loan spells to Cape Town All Stars and Chippa United without kicking a ball for the Soweto giants.
He eventually returned to the Rand Stadium-based side midway through the 2017/18 campaign, and has grown in stature for the club since then.
“That whole process played a massive part in transforming me into a player that I am today,” Lorch explained.
“I had to be patient while at the same time continued working hard to increase my fitness levels, and it was not easy. I am looking at ways to continue getting better.
"Coach Rhulani [Mokwena] is one individual I always speak to on and off the pitch. He always reminds me to continue believing in myself and to work hard.”
Bafana are set to face Seychelles in back-to-back 2019 AFCON qualifiers over the next few days, starting with a home clash at FNB Stadium on Saturday (15h00).
Lorch has emphasised the importance of picking up points at home so as to relieve pressure when travelling to unfamiliar teritory in the return leg on Tuesday.
“Home games are always crucial. This is where we have to make sure that we collect maximum points," he stressed.
"That will help ease the pressure when we go to play against them in their own backyard.
"On the other hand, it is also crucial not to think too far ahead of ourselves. Our focus should be channelled on our scheduled match on Saturday.
"We will worry about the second leg when we travel there.”