Dean Furman determined to help Bafana restore pride in AFCON qualifiers against Libya
Posted: 7 September 2018 Time: 13:00
Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman feels the players have let themselves and the nation down too many times when it comes to qualifying for major tournaments.
Bafana fans have taken strain as South Africa missed out on the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup, with Furman acknowledging something's got to give.
However, Stuart Baxter's men have put themselves in a good place to ease some of the disappointment by earning a spot at next year's AFCON in Cameroon, having beaten Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo in their Group E opener last year.
Bafana next host pool leaders Libya at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday (15h00).
"It's a huge game and obviously it feels like a long time ago but we got the perfect start with the huge win away in Nigeria," said Furman, who with 46 caps is the second most experienced player in the Bafana squad after Itumeleng Khune (87).
"And now we want to take advantage and bring that form home. Obviously our last game at home was a disappointment [losing to Senegal in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers]. Having said that, this is a ground that has been particularly good to us and we hope that the fans come out here on Saturday, because we are fully, fully focused and hungry to make sure that we are at AFCON 2019. So it begins now.
"It feels like it's been a while ago [to be in camp]. We really feel like we are in AFCON mode now and we are fully focused on qualifying for this tournament. So there can't be any more slip-ups.
"We've let ourselves down and the nation down on too many occasions. Certainly during my time with Bafana our motivation is not to allow that to happen again. We have to start by picking up points on Saturday."
He added: "It shouldn't be hard to motivate yourself for any football game, let alone when you are representing your country. I think that moment you put on the Bafana jersey it should be one of the proudest moments.
"It should motivate you to go out there and push even harder and certainly that is what I'm feeling from the squad. It is a young squad but with the hunger there has been a breath of fresh air.
"We hope that can be shown on the pitch on Saturday. We want to see a team full of life, full of energy, full of fight for the Bafana jersey. That's what we are looking to do on Saturday."
Furman, whose first of three Bafana goals came in 2013 at the match venue in a World Cup qualifier with Botswana, was one player who stood out against the Super Eagles last year by breaking up their play with his combative approach.