Bafana will host Guinea-Bissau at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium today (15h00) before tackling Angola in East London on Tuesday (19h00), with interim coach Owen da Gama in charge for the hosts.
SAFA confirmed to KickOff.com this week that Shakes Mashaba's permanent successor had been recruited and would be named after the contests.
Furman said: “For all we know, the new coach could be watching the two matches from the stands or on television, so it’s all to play for as individuals. And we have a massive year ahead of us and so we want to start on a good footing. We have to make sure we are at these big tournament because even now the hurt of not being in Gabon earlier this year is still there. Even though we are playing a friendly we cannot to take our foot off the pedal, we have to be full-blooded and go in one hundred percent as this is also a chance for us to impress.”
The Bafana vice-captain is well aware he faces stiff competition for game-time in the engine room from Tiyani Mabunda, Hlompho Kekana, Andile Jali and Holland-based star Kamohelo Mokotjo, who has regained his SA citizenship.
“It’s a great display on talent all over in the national team, we are all fighting for positions and no one knows if they are playing or not – and if you look at my position the competition is extremely high and everyone is on top of their game, we are all pushing each other to be better and that can only be healthy for us as the national team,” added Furman.
“Remember there are also some players who are not even in the team like Bongani Zungu. It’s great to have that competition and it’s difficult for the techincal team to select their starting eleven. Hopefully everyone gets a run in the next two matches and we keep on preparing and forming those formidable partnerships. I hope when those AFCON and World Cup qualfiers come we will have settled pairings and be ready to compete.”
Meanwhile, the SuperSport United captain believes the upcoming matches will serve the nation well in their AFCON and World Cup qualifiers.
“It’s all about preparations for us. SAFA has done well to find two appropriate nations to play against as we prepare for the all-important fixture against Cape Verde in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year. It’s not the same opposition but it will give us an idea of what we will come up against. We are familiar with Angola as we have played them several times. As for Guinea-Bissau they have shown that they are a good country as they qualified for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, so it’s going to be a very good game,” said Furman.
“One of the things that is vital for us is our home form. We have to start putting nations to bed when we play at home, when they come here they must know it is going to be very difficult for them. So we want to win these two upcoming matches, with the fans behind us, because winning breeds confidence.”