Bafana Bafana attacker Thembinkosi Lorch says his call-up to the national team came as a surprise as he was drafted into coach Hugo Broos’ Africa Cup of Nations squad for the upcoming qualifiers.
The South African national team are set to take on Morocco in their opening Group K Afcon qualifier at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on Thursday evening.
Lorch has had a mixed run of performances during the 2021-22 season but showed glimpses of form close to the end of the campaign, particularly in the Caf Confederation Cup where he scored the equalising goal in the final against AS Berkane.
However, the 28-year-old also produced stellar performances in the DStv Premiership against Maritzburg United for the Buccaneers.
The Orlando Pirates star has since caught the eye of the Bafana head coach and earned himself a spot in the national team, which will be his first time under the tutelage of Belgian coach Hugo Broos.
“I was working towards a call-up. When I saw that the coach drafted me into his initial squad, it was like recognition – the type I needed to cement the fact that I am on my way back to where I want to be, and that is on the football pitch finding the back of the net be it for my country or club,” Lorch told Safa.
“It is hard because after my shoulder dislocation and the surgery there is down time, so you have to hype yourself and continue to be positive but that is also easier said than done.
“He is a good coach and to give me a chance along with the other deserving players is not something I take for granted taking into consideration the season that lies behind me … it was hard.”