At the mature age of 31, Bafana Bafana and Supersport United star midfielder, Dean Furman, is still dreaming big.
The no-nonsense midfielder has been colossal for both club and country in the past five years. And there’s nothing flashy about his approach to the game but it’s the hard work that earns him respect from the coaches and his peers. He is now on the “wrong side” of 30 and the man nicknamed “Mlungu” wants to compete in the biggest sporting showpiece on earth (the World Cup) and lift the league championship in South Africa.
In his career, he has done it almost all but the only missing puzzle in his list of accomplishments is the World Cup and the league.
“The World Cup seems too far away but that’s not the case. The qualifiers start in few months’ time. The qualification process is not easy. We want to be at the World Cup, we want to be at the Afcon and we want to be at the Olympics,” said the diminutive midfielder.
“We have to make sure that we start well in our group. Whoever we are going to be up against will be tough. Playing well against top nations like Nigeria and Egypt has given us hope that we can do it on a bigger stage. I want to play in the World Cup before I retire. For me that will be a special moment,” Furman said in an interview with Independent Media after they defeated Maritzburg United 2-0 at Harry Gwala Stadium midweek.
Furman has become one of the stalwarts in the Bafana set-up but the World Cup has eluded him for much of his time with the senior national side. He has earned 56 caps and scored four goals. Under his belt he has amassed three Afcon appearances (in 2013 in South Africa, 2015 in Equatorial Guinea and 2019 in Egypt).
“Bafana have to qualify for major tournaments. We have to play at each and every Afcon. It was great that we qualified for the last Afcon in Egypt. We did well and we have to build from that. Beating Egypt in their own backyard showed that Bafana are a force to be reckoned with,” he added.
Furman is not only dreaming about the World Cup but he has also set his sights on winning the league.
“For Supersport United, I would love to win the league and we are pushing. I feel like we’ve had a very decent first half of the season. Hopefully, we can finish well in our last three games (of the first round). It looks like Chiefs are running away with it, we’ll play catch-up all the way. We don’t want to fall too much behind them. It was important to beat Maritzburg United and we have to win our next three games.” Furman said.
Supersport have enjoyed a trophy-laden spell since Furman joined the club. They have captured two Nedbank Cup trophies and the MTN8. The League is one silverware that has eluded him. They remain contenders for the League honours should Amakhosi slip up. They are third on the log and 11 points behind leaders, Kaizer Chiefs.