Doncaster Rovers: Dean Furman to captain South Africa in Afcon opener

Cover star: Dean Furman appears on the front cover of this month's Kick Off magazine.
Cover star: Dean Furman appears on the front cover of this month's Kick Off magazine.

Doncaster Rovers midfielder Dean Furman will captain South Africa in their opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea tonight.

Bafana Bafana face Algeria at Stade de Mongomo this evening (7pm).

In what will be his 27th appearance for his country, this will be the fourth time Furman captains his country having made his debut in September 2012 against Brazil in Sao Paolo.

On the prospect of wearing the armband, Furman said: “Leading your country is one of the top honours you can have and the three games I have worn the armband has been really special and a proud moment for me and my family.

“But leadership doesn’t come only with the armband. We are all leaders in our own way.

“What is important is to stand up and be counted because we are going to come up against some really good opposition.”

Furman, who this month features on the cover of Africa’s leading soccer magazine Kick Off, is convinced South Africa can negotiate their way out of a tough group which includes Algeria, Senegal and Ghana - and he can’t wait to get going tonight.

“This is the moment we have been building up to for the last six months when we discussed in the first camp before qualification that this is where we want to be.

“We are delighted to be here and excited, we can’t wait for the kick-off.

“Preparations have gone really well and we have worked hard over the last couple of weeks.

“We have had three positive games for us, albeit with different challenges.

“We are now excited, it’s just the waiting around that is probably the worst while we wait for kick-off, but we are certainly excited and hopefully we will continue with our good form.”