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Furman to continue as Bafana vice-captain despite departure to England

Dean Furman has already made public his intent to return to Europe at the end of the season when his contract with SuperSport United end.

Dean Furman. Picture: @de4no22/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has confirmed that midfielder Dean Furman will continue on as the national team’s vice-captain despite an impending return to England.

In December, Furman confirmed that he was considering his options and considering a return to England at the end of the 2019/20 season.

A month later, in early January, Matsatsantsa CEO Stan Matthews confirmed that they were planning for life without Furman, with his contract set to end on the 31 August.

With his departure now throwing doubt on his Bafana future, Ntseki said for as long as Furman was available, he would remain a vital member of his team.

“We haven’t heard anything from his agent (Glynn Binkin) when it comes to him leaving South Africa,” the Bafana coach said. “Maybe part of the fears will be him retiring from Bafana, so we still have Dean Furman as our vice-captain, whenever he is selected into the team”.

Ntseki has also given an update on Bafana Bafana's attempt to recruit Thomas Barkhuizen into the national team.

The 26-year-old is a striker and currently plays for Championship Preston North End in England.

“I have identified and we have discussed Thomas Barkhuizen. We do have his video clips but the decision to bring him here and to make him part of Bafana Bafana is a process and that process is still very much on”.

Ntseki has also added that he will be looking to recruit more under 23 players into the Bafana Bafana fold, with a number of 2021 African Cup of Nations and 2022 World Cup qualifiers taking place this year.

But he admits that he must balance his own requirements, with ensuring he doesn’t weaken the team, as most of that squad is due to play at the Olympics Games, in Tokyo, later this year.

“Yes, we are interested in some of the players, but we just want to go to the Olympics and leave a mark,” he confirmed. “We are looking forward to strengthening that team and not weakening their team by taking their best players, currently”.