Furman ready for Africa Cup of Nations

By James Masters, January 4, 2013

Dean Furman went wild in the aisles after securing his place in South Africa’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Oldham Athletic captain was out doing the grocery shopping when he was inundated with messages and tweets congratulating him on being selected for the tournament in the land of his birth.

Having made his debut against Brazil in October, Furman has produced a series of impressive performances on the international stage, with manager Gordon Igesund a big admirer of the midfielder.

Some of the game’s biggest names including Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Demba Ba are all set to compete at the tournament and Furman is desperate to make an impact.

And the 24-year-old, who has been capped five times by Bafana Bafana, says he was strolling up and down the supermarket when the big news came through.

"I had been keeping an eye on the squad announcement, but I was just out doing my food shopping when the confirmation came through," he told the JC.

"It didn’t really click until I started getting loads of messages and tweets.

"It’s a dream come true and it was a bit surreal to see my name in the squad, but I’m delighted. You’re never 100 per cent sure if you’re going to be included so I was just so happy to hear I was in.

"To come out of the wilderness like I have and be given a chance is something I’ll always be grateful for.

"Now I can’t wait to get out there and help South Africa."

Furman, who moved to England from Cape Town at the age of five, will join his teammates on a two-week training camp with friendly games against Norway and Algeria scheduled before the tournament kicks off on January 19.

The hosts face Cape Verde in the opening game before taking on Angola and Morocco, but with the whole country behind them, Furman is confident his side can progress.

"It will be amazing to play at home and I hope we can make the entire nation proud of us," he added. "If the country gets behind us then we can go really far and do something special.

"For me, it has been a whirlwind and a huge honour. You just look at some of the players competing at the tournament and they’re all world-class names.

"But I’ll just try to take it in my stride and make sure I do what I do at Oldham and give it my very best."

Last updated: 2:45pm, January 4 2013