Bafana Bafana

Armband not on Furman's mind

2014-11-12 20:19
Dean Furman (Supplied)
Dean Furman (Supplied)

Durban - Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman says he would be honoured to captain South Africa should coach Shakes Mashaba come calling, ahead of Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan in Durban.

Read: Mashaba coy on Bafana captaincy

"Of course it would be an unbelievable honour, but it's not something I'm thinking about," Furman said on Wednesday.

"That's entirely up to the coach and his staff to decide who'll be the captain."

The England-based player is one of a handful of experienced players in the side who could be considered to replace slain skipper Senzo Meyiwa for the crunch match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"As players we all know we've got a responsibility. We saw how well Senzo captained the team in his four games and we all know how good a captain (injured goalkeeper) Itumeleng Khune is.

"For us it's about all of us being leaders out there on the pitch. It's not about one individual just because he has the armband. I think every player brings his own character, identity and leadership qualities to the team. We have to do it together."

Meyiwa was shot dead last month while visiting his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus, outside Johannesburg.

Mashaba said on Tuesday he would only name a new captain later in the week, with the announcement expected Friday.

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana's media officer Matlhomola Morake confirmed there was no official stance by the SA Football Association (Safa) on the future of May Mahlangu. It had been reported that the Sweden-based player -- who withdrew from the squad with fatigue -- had since been banned.

Furman, 26, stopped short on commenting on the issue, but highlighted the importance of honouring a national call-up.

"When your country comes calling, it's very important to be here," he said.

"You can't talk about different people's circumstances. I can only look at myself, and I know that I'm very proud to be here."

Despite a host of unfamiliar faces in the squad, the Doncaster Rovers player said none of the older players were taking their places in Saturday's starting XI for granted.

"Everyone is pushing and everyone is fighting," he said.

"The best thing I can say is that no one's position is comfortable, no one's safe and no one knows they're going to start on Saturday.

"There are 24 of us here and every single one of us is staking a claim to start."

He said it would be "a massive achievement" for South Africa to qualify for a major tournament for the first time since Afcon 2008 in Ghana.

Bafana Bafana participated in the 2013 Afcon finals and the 2010 World Cup by virtue of the fact that they hosted both events.

South Africa will qualify for Afcon 2015 on Saturday if they beat Sudan and if closest Group A rivals Congo lose to Nigeria.

Wednesday morning's training was cancelled to two gruelling sessions on Tuesday -- the second of which included a friendly against National First Division club Royal Eagles.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2015  |  dean furman  |  durban  |  soccer

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