Pattison dreams of playing for Bafana Bafana at the World Cup
Matty Pattison has revealed that it was the dream of representing South Africa at next year's World Cup that led him to leave Norwich City and return home.
The 24-year-old midfielder this week signed for PSL side Mamelodi Sundowns after finding himself out of favour at Norwich City.
The former Newcastle United player is now hoping his decision to return home will help to attract the attention of Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge and hopefully it'll mean I can get a place in the World Cup squad," Pattison told BBC Sport.
I just wanted to give myself the best chance possible of playing in the World Cup
"I don't look at it as a step down because it means that I'll be seen by the people who pick the Bafana squad, which wasn't happening when I was playing in England.
"I'm very proud to be South African so it would mean everything to play for them."
Born in Johannesburg, Pattison moved to England at the age of 11 and rose through the youth team ranks at Newcastle, eventually making 10 appearances for the club.
He signed for Norwich last January but the combative midfielder failed to hold down a regular starting spot as the club were relegated to League One - the third tier of English football - last season.
"I'll miss playing in England but I'm not going to rule out going back one day," said Pattison.
"I just wanted to give myself the best chance possible of playing in the World Cup and I think coming to South Africa is the way to achieve that."
He will join an experienced squad under new manager Hristo Stoichkov, with the Bulgarian legend appointed by the Sundowns' billionaire owner Patrice Motsepe to replace Henri Michel back in June.
They could only finish ninth in the PSL last season despite the presence of several international stars but Pattison is confident they can improve on that showing as the new season kicks off this weekend.
"They've got the potential to be one of the top teams in the league and it didn't take long for me to decide this was where I wanted to come," he said.
"I've watched some of the football in South Africa and it's a very good standard - I didn't expect it to be so quick but that should suit my game having played in England.
"Sundowns have seven or eight players in the national squad so I'm hoping that I can add to that very soon."
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