Furman: SA a force to be reckoned with


Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman believes 2019 was a great year for the national team and wants the team to kick on to greater heights in 2020.

As we wrap up 2019, a year in which South African national teams improved in the big tournaments, the SuperSport United midfielder shared his thoughts on the progress made.

Furman commented on Bafana's performances throughout the calendar year in the qualifiers but is particularly proud of their showing at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt, where they produced a top-class performance against the host nation.

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"Very pleasing," said Furman speaking to the media at Harry Gwala Stadium last week.

"Bafana Bafana has to be qualifying for the major tournaments, so to qualify for the AFCON, especially after the pressure we were under in Tunisia in that Libya game, was really pleasing.

"So that was fantastic and then beating Egypt in their backyard with 70 000 fans was a special moment for us, and it shows that Bafana Bafana is a force to be reckoned with when we win our games, so it's really pleasing."

Furman also feels the Olympic qualification by the under-23 team really shows that 2019 has been a year that brought back South African football's dignity at international level.

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"The under-23s qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is another great step for South African football. We hope these boys can shine on the big stage," he added.

At 31, Furman might be not as young as other players but his dream to play in the World Cup is still there and he hopes the senior team can build on their progress in the upcoming Qatar 2022 qualifiers, which start next year.

"The World Cup seems far away but it's actually not, qualifiers are starting in a few months' time so that qualification process is very, very tough," he continued.

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"But Bafana Bafana want to be in the top competitions. We want to be in the World Cup, AFCON and Olympics and we have to make sure we start very well in our group.

"Whoever we are up against it's going to be extremely tough but we believe [we can do it], especially after our recent performances against Nigeria and Egypt, which gave us belief."