The Masandawana star is regarded as one of the best performing left-backs in the PSL and the Caf Champions League recently
Mamelodi Sundowns defender Lyle Lakay has admitted he is hurt by being overlooked for the South Africa national team but is not worrying himself much about the snub by coach Molefi Ntseki.
The Bafana Bafana coach last week named a 26-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Group C rivals Ghana and Sudan later on this month.
But Lakay who went on to be included in this week’s Caf Champions League Team of the Week did not feature in Ntseki’s selection.
Ntseki went for Innocent Maela who has not featured in Orlando Pirates’ last four games while on the bench as Josef Zinnbauer opted for Paseka Mako.
The South Africa coach also considered veteran national team left-back Sifiso Hlanti who recently claimed a starting place for Swallows FC.
“Obviously as a player you want to represent your country especially when you are playing week in, week out and contributing to your team’s success,” said Lakay on SA FM.
“But it is what it is. I can’t worry about it, I have to focus on the positives and continue to work hard and hopefully it will come. On the positive side, I will get to spend time with my family now. We have been away [with Sundowns], we have been travelling so during the Fifa break I will get time to spend at home.
“My daughter will be two-weeks-old tomorrow [March 9] so I will get time to spend with her because I haven’t been here for the last two weeks.”
Ntseki defended his decision to leave out Lakay saying he needed tried and tested players against Ghana.
Lakay has conceded he is disappointed at missing the next national team selection after being part of the last camp for back-to-back matches against Sao Tome e Principe last November.
“Yes, it does [hurt not being called-up to the national team]. Every player wants to represent their country. I will just continue to work hard and hopefully, I will get the call-up the next time,” Lakay said.
“It is always good when the coach says something about you. He is thinking about me, so I will just continue to work hard and at the end of the day, he will call me when the time is right.
“Yes, I do [understand that Ntseki needed experienced players]. Obviously, we have to qualify and we all know that. He has his reasons and I have to respect that at the end of the day.”