Dean heads home


DEAN Furman insists turning his back on English football to return to his native South Africa is not a backward step.

Furman opted to join SuperSport United in Pretoria on a two-year deal this week in a surprise move.

Cape Town-born Jew Furman, 27, moved to the UK with his family as a child.

He began his soccer career as a youth team player at Chelsea in 2003. But he did not make the breakthrough into the first team and left the club.

He signed for then Scottish giants Rangers in 2006, was a regular in the reserve side and captained the Under-19 team to the Scottish Youth Cup final in 2007, where they beat Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Furman made his professional debut as a 52nd-minute substitute in a 3–1 Scottish Premier League win at Ibrox against Dundee United in 2008.

Later he had Football League spells with Bradford, Oldham and Doncaster, who released him at the end of last season.

But after being reunited with Gordon Igesund, the manager who handed Furman his South Africa debut against Brazil in 2012, the midfielder, who was named captain of Bafana Bafana ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan last year, said it was too good a move to turn down.

Furman said: “To work again with my former coach who gave me my opportunity to play for the national team was a big pull.

“They’ve just recently signed Bongani Khumalo, who I played with at Doncaster, and Bongs and I grew very close. To see him come back here, I’ve spoken to him and he’s told me how he is enjoying it. And that was a big thing for me.”

Furman had set his sights on remaining in England after leaving Doncaster this summer. He spent a
trial spell at Blackburn, while Bury were also believed to be keen on
sealing his signature But Furman headed back home after being won over by his new club’s
powers of persuasion.

“I have to thank the owner Stan Matthews a lot,” he added.

“Stan has been unbelievable. He flew out to the UK to have talks with me and he was so positive. He sold the club so well and so it seemed like the right place to be at this moment in my career.”

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