TOWN defender Efe Sodje must have been only too happy to hear the voice of Taiwo Ogunjobi on the telephone on Sunday.
For the secretary-general of the Nigerian FA gave the 32-year-old defender the best footballing news he's had in a while.
At club level, it's been a torrid few weeks for Sodje.
Sent off for the second time this season as Town crashed out of the LDV Vans Trophy at Blackpool, he was subsequently fined, stripped of the captaincy and handed a four-match domestic ban.
That suspension, imposed for elbowing, keeps him out of the League I games at Colchester on Saturday and at home to Wrexham seven days later.
The possibility of winning a 10th cap for coach Christian Chukwu's Nigeria against South Africa today was therefore doubly welcome for the 2002 World Cup player.
Having taken Ogunjobi's call, Sodje immediately agreed to fly out to Johannesburg for the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge between South Africa and an invited nation.
The Nigerian build-up has been hit by a string of withdrawls, the latest Portsmouth striker Yakubu Ayegbeni and Everton defender Joseph Yobo.
Midfielder Seyi Olofinjana and strikers John Utaka and Julius Aghahowa have also pulled out.
Sodje and Italy-based defender Daniel Ola have both joined up, as well as Rangers players Ebenezer Ojo and Afam Onyekachi.
"For a second match, we've had to invite new players and it's frustrating trying to put together our best squad to play an important game," said Ogunjobi, in charge of the top-ranked African nation in the official FIFA rankings.
"We were thinking of pulling out of the match altogether but the South Africans insisted the game must be played."
Striker Benedict Akwuegbu of St Gallen in Switzerland and Poland-based Ifeanyi Ekwueme have also been drafted in.
Nigeria have beaten South Africa in three of their four meetings since 1992, their last victory being a 4-0 win at the 2004 African Nations Cup in Tunisia.
Their victory hopes have been boosted by the presence of Bolton star Jay-Jay Okocha and Inter Milan striker Obafemi Martins in the 18-man squad, 16 of whom have flown into South Africa from various European airports.
Okocha was the hero as Nigeria claimed third place in the African Nations Cup by beating Mali.
He opened the scoring with a deflected free-kick early in the first half, then created the second in a 2-1 win with a well-placed cross which Osaze Odemwingie headed home.
Okocha's Bolton teammate El-Hadji Diouf is the subject of a Police investigation following allegations that he spat at Middlesbrough supporters.
Cleveland Police are investigating after Boro fan James Shield, 11, said the Senegal striker, who is on loan from Liverpool, spat a mouthful of juice at him during the 1-1 draw.