The SuperSport United captain doesn’t steal the headlines nor does he attract a legion of fans, but what he does makes his team tick. Furman is the heart of Bafana Bafana and the soul of SuperSport. His blood is probably blue even though he only arrived at the club in 2015. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Dean Furman is driven by a simple desire - to win. The SuperSport United captain doesn’t steal the headlines nor does he attract a legion of fans, but what he does makes his team tick. Furman is the heart of Bafana Bafana and the soul of SuperSport. His blood is probably blue even though he only arrived at the club in 2015.

The 31-year-old could be playing in his last season for SuperSport as he is yet to renew the contract that expires in May. Should he leave the club, he will leave as a legend having won two Nedbank Cup titles and two MTN8 trophies. But there would be one regret, not having won the Absa Premiership. The club intend to change that this season, but it will be hard. SuperSport trail Kaizer Chiefs, their opponents this afternoon at Mbombela Stadium, by 11 points. Despite winning the MTN8, SuperSport don’t have league-winning material. They are a tough and competitive side, but they struggle to do it in the marathon that is the league.

“The league form has really been a bit of a disappointment, apart from one season under Stuart Baxter where we were top for three quarters of the league but ultimately fell away in the end,” Furman said. “It’s tough! We don’t necessarily have the same size squad as a (Mamelodi) Sundowns, so a couple of injuries affect us in quite a big way. But I think that over and above that, our level of consistency has held us back. We were right there last season, we beat Sundowns and then lost to AmaZulu. Teams who win leagues find ways to win. That’s something that we’ve got to improve on. Our level of consistency has to improve. It’s all well and good to do it in cups, but over the course of the season we have to maintain consistency and that’s what is going to be a challenge for us this season.”

Furman is going to be key if SuperSport are to turn things around in their league form. The former Bafana captain has formed a strong midfield trio with Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule.

The Olympics-bound young pair have attracted plenty of attention and headlines while Furman does the dirty work. That’s essentially what Furman does - the unsexy stuff that allows his teammates to shine. So where does he take his satisfaction from since his job isn’t glamorous?

“I take satisfaction when I win,” Furman said. “I am not here to get the headlines or nice tweets. I am here to win.

“This position isn’t about personal glory for me. I look at players from the past, a player like Claude Makelele is probably the master, and did he get the recognition that he deserved?

“I don’t know. He played for fantastic clubs, but we always talk about the (Zinedine) Zidanes and the players who played around him. But Makelele was so, so vital to that team. So it’s fine, I am not here for any personal recognition.

“What’s important for me is that my teammates, and the coach, respect the role I play in the team. I hope I am a valuable member of the team, a player who allows the team to flourish.”

Bonginkosi Ndadane