WELL spoken, polite, not the biggest in stature; Dean Furman off the pitch gives little hint of the feisty attributes he will bring to Doncaster Rovers over the next couple of months and possibly beyond.
The tenacious 24-year-old ticks all the boxes for boss Brian Flynn, a long term admirer of the former Chelsea and Rangers ball winner.
He also plugs the gap left by a season-ending injury to midfield destroyer Paul Keegan.
South African star Furman, on the face of it, is the final piece of the Rovers promotion jigsaw. He fits the bill perfectly - and his arrival this week has given the Rovers camp another lift as they prepare to face Portsmouth at the Keepmoat tomorrow.
Furman himself spoke eloquently when he met the local press for the first time yesterday. His style on the pitch is slightly more robust.
He cut to the chase when asked about his role in the team.
“I’m the kind of player who likes to get stuck in first and foremost, he said. “I like to break up play and get on the ball.
“There’s a few injuries here so I’m coming in to hopefully fill a few gaps.
“Defensively this Doncaster team is very solid but there’s also some great attacking players here.
“My job is to get the ball to them and let them do their magic.
“I try and do my bit in the middle of the park,” he added.
“I’m quite vocal out on the pitch too. I know there are some great leaders in the camp but if I can add anything that’s what I’ll try and do.”
Furman’s combative style means he arrives at Doncaster walking a disciplinary tightrope.
But even with eight yellow cards to his name, the Cape Town born midfielder is unlikely to compromise in a 50/50 challenge should he get the nod against Pompey.
Furman is out to impress, particularly given the fact he will miss next weekend’s derby with Scunthorpe due to international commitments.
“The bookings are always something I’m looking to watch but in my position there’s tackles that have to be made and you are going to pick up your fair share of cautions,” he said.
“But I’ve been on my best behaviour over the last few weeks.
“I’ve not had a yellow card for a while, so I’ll try and continue to do that.
“There’s no time to settle in really,” he added.
“I enjoyed training yesterday and hopefully I’ve shown the manager that I’m ready to be selected on Saturday.
“I’ll be away next week with the international team for a World Cup qualifier with South Africa. My country is very important to me. It’s a great honour to play for them.
“So I’ll miss one game but then I’ll be here for the duration of the season.
“It’s up to me to make sure I hit the ground running.
“I’m just going to play my natural game and if that can help the team than that’s all good.
“I played against Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago for Oldham and we beat them 1-0.
“They’re a side fighting for their lives and they’ve got some very good players.
“There’s some strange results at this time of year when teams from the bottom beat teams at the top - and we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen to us this weekend.”
Swapping a relegation battle for a promotion race, Furman is ready to grab his opportunity at Rovers with both hands.
“It’s an exciting prospect for me to come to Donny,” he said.
“I’m delighted to be here. There’s nine massive games to go and there’s a title to be won.
“There’s a certain amount of mixed emotions. I’ve been at Oldham for nearly four years and I’ve got a lot of friends there and I’m close to a lot of people there.
“It’s sad to leave them when they’re not doing so well.
“A lot changed when I came back from the Africa Nations Cup and the manager had gone but everyone’s mucking in there and I hope they maintain their League One status.
“It’s a very different type of pressure here at Doncaster but personally I thrive under pressure.
“This is a great place to be right now and as a player these are the conditions you want to play under.
“It’s very possible [that my long term future is with Doncaster],” he added.
“For now I’ve just got to concentrate on getting into the team and showing the manager what I can do.
“First and foremost the goal is to get promotion, then we’ll speak about the future.”