Furman: I was hoping I'd be the next Chelsea superstar
Former SuperSport United captain Dean Furman has revealed how his career as a teenager at Chelsea came to an end ahead of a making a name for himself in South Africa.
The 32-year-old joined Matsatsantsa in 2015 after spells with Rangers, Bradford City, Oldham Athletic and Doncaster Rovers.
A former Chelsea youth, Furman saw his time at the club cut short with the influx of new players, and after struggling to force his way into the first team at the Premier League, he made the switch to the PSL.
In his five years with SuperSport, Furman proved himself to be both a vital player at club and country, having represented Bafana Bafana over 50 times and picking up a number of accolades.
Speaking to the Guardian, Furman explained: "I was hoping I'd be the next superstar. But we were signing players for millions at 16. The competition in the reserves was up.
"We signed players like Scott Sinclair and Ryan Bertrand. At 18 Chelsea decided not to keep me on.
"It was an incredible time. Brendan Rodgers took over as our manager in the youth team. It's no surprise to see how successful he has been in Scotland and with Leicester. On the pitch, everything had a structure.
"I remember the first day he came in and told us that while he was the youth team manager at Reading the reserve players wanted to train with him and so did the first team.
"His training was second to none. We were young men and he helped us grow up off the pitch."
On his time in South Africa and will Bafana, Furman added: "I had to uproot myself and my wife, who's from Manchester. It was daunting for her but she had a fantastic experience. I was lucky enough to lift four trophies and be in six domestic cup finals and the equivalent of the Europa League final.
"My first call-up was away to Brazil – the start of an incredible journey. You go to some incredible places. I've probably ticked off half of Africa. I've been to three Africa Cup of Nations. The last one was knocking out Egypt in Cairo."