Published in the Brighton edition of the Match day magazine ‘RTID’ caught up with South African International, Dean Furman.
Dean was with Bongani Khumalo on duty for his country as they drew 1-1 in a friendly game in Morocco.
You joined us last season from Oldham at a critical period of the season. How did you see the end of the season?
It was an incredible end; it really was. We had been going really well and for most of my time here we were top of the league. We then lost a couple of home games we should have won, especially against Notts County in the last home match, which meant we had to go away to Brentford and win or draw to get promotion. The week before was full of tension and drama with all the media attention focussed on us. All the talk was on the last game and to finish the season the way we did was such a special moment. It is one which will stay with us all for the rest of our careers and with fans who were there for all their lives.
As a player what was it like building up for the game as it was like our own cup final?
You try and take your mind off things as much as you can but really it was all everyone could think or talk about that week. It seemed destined for it to come down to the last game of the season and in fact the last minute. I can remember seeing a clip on the news, which said they had won 14 at home and we had won 14 away, so it seemed fated that the best home would face the best away for the big prize. I’m just delighted we are where we are now as a result of how that game turned out.
Your South African teammate, Bongani Khumalo, has joined you here.
It is great to have Bongs with us here and I feel he has been outstanding as he forms a great partnership with Rob (Jones) at the back. He has settled really well here at Doncaster and been solid in every game. I’m really glad to have him here as he helped me a lot when I went over to the national team in my early days over there.
You must want to get in the side regularly but, as a player, you must get used to managers tactically changing teams?
No one likes sitting on the bench or not being involved but we have a good squad here with lots of competition for places. In midfield, Richie(Wellens) and Paul (Keegan) have been playing really well. You know you have to go with what the manager feels is his best side for the team we are playing against. I have to come in and work hard at training to impress the manager to give him a difficult time selecting the team. All of us want to be in the starting eleven every week but support the lads when we are not.
Dean, what is it like to play for your country?
It’s a big honour for me and I love going to the games. As for what it’s like, it all depends on where we are playing and how much travel is needed. This dictates what the week of a game is like. I often have to get to know the players because there will be new players picked for the side. We have a couple of training sessions before the game as we prepare for the side we are facing. After the game it is say your goodbyes and then travel home till the next game.
Dean & Bongani have been selected again to represent South Africa in this week’s international friendly against the World Cup holders Spain. Dean spoke to Rovers Player about his delight to represent his country.
The Brighton edition of ‘RTID’ is still available to purchase from the Rovers Club shop.