Dean Furman has set his sights on playing for South Africa at next year’s African Nations Cup after being name in the squad to play a prestigious friendly against Brazil.
The Oldham Athletic captain flew to Sao Paolo to join his teammates following the 1-0 win at Portsmouth in League One.
“I'm delighted. It's an unbelievable opportunity for me to show what I can do,” Furman said.
“Obviously I'm playing over here in League One and it doesn't get much coverage back in South Africa so hopefully I will be able to force my way into the manager's thinking.
Furman was born in Cape Town, but moved to England with his family at the age of five. The former Chelsea and Rangers star, who attended Rosh Pinah School in Edgware, was first called up by former coach Joel Santana back in 2008, but was an unused substitute against Australia in London.
“I will always remember the first time I was called up and to be back involved is incredible,” Furman said. “You can't get much better than going to play a match against Brazil.” South Africa will host Mozambique in a second friendly in Mpumalanga four days later
Looking ahead to next year’s Africans Nations Cup, he said: “It’s a real target. My aim over the coming 10 days is to show the manager what I'm all about and make sure I'm in his plans for the future.
“The African Nations Cup is something to look ahead to but for now I will just put my head down and work hard.
“I never gave up hope - I never give up on anything because that's the type of person I am. I always focused on playing as well as I could for Oldham in the hope that someone would be watching me and taking notice. Hopefully that is starting to pay off.
“It would be a very proud moment for me and my family if I can get on the pitch. South Africa is the country of my birth and although I've been in England for a long time, all my family still live there. There's no greater honour than playing for your country.”
Oldham manager Paul Dickov said: "It is fantastic news for Dean, and fully deserved.
"It is a reward for all the hard work he has put in. To get the chance to play against Brazil, with all their top players, will be a great experience.”