Cape Town - Industrious midfielder Dean Furman says that Bafana Bafana are not favourites to win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
The 30-year-old opened up on South Africa’s AFCON preparations, adding that if the team applies what they have worked out on training in the past few weeks, something special might be in the offing.
Speaking upon arrival in the Cairo via Dubai, Furman said the spirit in the camp was sky high adding the training sessions will do squad a world of good when the tournament starts.
"It is very good to be at our final destination in Egypt; we have waiting to be here for a long time. The pre-camp has been very good and going to Dubai has been good for us due to the heat factor," Furman said as quoted by SAFA website.
"We got used to the heat and the good thing is that it is 10 degrees cooler here (in Egypt), so hopefully, that issue (of acclimatisation) can be put to one side,."
"There is good spirit and the AFCON atmosphere is upon us. We were greatly welcomed on our arrival in Egypt and the excitement is starting to build among the players too," said Furman adding that the team need to just fine-tune a few things and it is time to go.
On the friendly match against Ghana last Saturday, Furman said the exercise was a good experience for the team as the West Africans were a top side on the continent.
He believes the current Bafana Bafana team had taken a lot of positives but at the same time, there were also a lot of things to work on and improve.
"We have taken most of those learnings into our training sessions and hopefully when Ivory Coast comes, we are more than ready and confident,” he said.
"We believe, this is a strong team and we are coming into this tournament with a lot of confidence based on our qualification campaign where we were undefeated and not forgetting our victory in Nigeria, our performance against them at home and our crucial victory against Libya away. All this give us a lot to be confident about."
Furman said the first target is to get out of the group stages and thereafter, anything is possible.
"At the moment we are not looking past that,” he said brushing aside talk that this Bafana Bafana side was ranked among those teams that can go all the way," he said.
"I don’t think we are favourites. There are certain traditional powerhouses of African football, but we are happy with where we are, we know we have quality in this team. We are in a strong group involving Morocco and Ivory Coast and not discarding a strong Namibia side.
"So, we are not concerned about what people say about the favourite tag, we just know that if we perform to our potential, we can achieve big things in this tournament."
Meanwhile, Angola cancelled the friendly clash against Bafana Bafana due to a lack of training.
That match was set to kick off on Wednesday.
Bafana get their AFCON tournament started against the Ivory Coast on Monday, June 24 in Cairo before playing at the same venue on Friday, June 28 against Namibia.
They then round off their group stage matches with a clash against Morocco on Monday, July 1.