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Furman back in SA, signs deal with SuperSport

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JACK MILNER

The match ended in a 1-1 draw after New Zealander Jeremy Brockie save the Pretoria-based team some embarrassment when he equalised in the 68th minute.

The good news for the team, however, was the fact Furman managed to complete the 90 minutes without any fitness issues. The Cape Town-born Jewish player, who has spent most of his life in the United Kingdom, where he plied his trade. signed up last week to play for SuperSport United where he was reunited with former Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund.

Igesund opted to play Furman, despite the player’s warning he may be somewhat ring rusty as he had not had a proper pre-season after leaving English First Division team Doncaster Rovers at the end of June.

One other person who was no doubt over the moon that Furman completed the match and showed a decent level of fitness, was Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba. The South African national side face Mauritania in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Nouakchott on September 5.

Bafana, who go into camp on August 30, started their campaign for a finals berth with a goalless home draw against Gambia on June 13. Group M favourites Cameroon await Mashaba’s team in March.  

Furman has captained the Bafana team in the past, but with Mashaba’s “captain rotation plan” it is not sure if he will keep the armband in the next match.

It was Igesund who first introduced Furman into the Bafana team and his first match for the country was a friendly international against Brazil in September 2012. The 27-year-old has 28 Bafana caps and captained the country in six matches, scoring two goals in total.

Furman was selected for the final squad of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament hosted by his home country. In the second group match of the tournament, Bafana convincingly defeated Angola 2-0 and Furman was named as Man of the Match.

He is a never-say-die combatant who leads from the front and has always been a superb role-model for his team mates and all aspiring youngsters.

He played the full 90 minutes in South Africa’s final group game – a 2 – 2 draw with Morocco – which secured Bafana the top spot in the group and ensured their first passage to the quarterfinals of the competition since 2002.

The quarterfinal against Mali on 2 February ended 1 – 1 after extra time and Furman had his penalty kick saved as Mali won 3 – 1 in the penalty shoot-out.

He was named captain of Bafana ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan in Durban in November last year, replacing former captain, the late Senzo Meyiwa.

Furman made 261 league and cup appearances for Doncaster with 16 goals to his credit.

Furman, always passionate about football, was a member of the Chelsea junior team, making it all the way through the ranks until the final cut. From there he moved to Glasgow Rangers.

He spent his entire career playing abroad for a number of English clubs, including Oldham United and most recently, Doncaster Rovers. He was apparently offered a new contract at Doncaster but turned it down, as he hoped to join a Premier League side.  

Furman joined SuperSport on a three-year contract, which was initially a two-year contract with a one-year renewal option.

He has regularly indicated he did not see his future with a PSL team, but his options in the UK seemed limited.

However, instead of being a small fish in a big pond, in South Africa he is already a big fish and the pond is much smaller. 

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