Baxter knows exactly how he wants to set up Bafana - Furman

Stuart Baxter and Dean Furman (Getty Images)
Stuart Baxter and Dean Furman (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman says head coach Stuart Baxter is tactically aware and meticulous in his planning.

Having worked with the Scotsman at SuperSport United and now during his second stint as Bafana Bafana mentor, the former Doncaster Rovers player has revealed details about Baxter's methods.

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Following Baxter’s successful stint at Kaizer Chiefs where he won four major titles - Absa Premiership (2012/13, 2014/15), Nedbank Cup (2012/13) and the MTN8 Cup (2014) - he left for a post in Turkey before returning to South Africa less than a year later in 2015.

The then 61-year-old (now 65) signed with SuperSport United, where Furman got to experience first-hand how the coach works.

However, Baxter soon left the Tshwane-based outfit to take over from Shakes Mashaba as the national team coach in 2017.

"I’ve worked with the coach for many years, he's certainly helped improve my game. We do a lot of video sessions, we do a lot of work on debriefing up performances and finding ways to improve," Furman told Sport24 in an exclusive interview.

"Also, (in helping) the team, he really knows how to set up a team.

"Tactically, he's very aware, I think we only have to look at the Libya game, we set-up in a three-five-two (formation) to nullify their threat and we were able to adapt as a team due to his coaching methods and the way he instructed us to play.

"So, he is a fantastic coach to work with and he is meticulous in his planning, knows exactly how he wants his team set-up in order to go and win the game."

Bafana are currently based in Cairo for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off on Friday evening with host nation Egypt entertaining Zimbabwe in the opening fixture (kick-off 22:00 SA time).

With his inclusion in the Bafana Bafana AFCON squad, Furman decided to take up an ambassadorial role in partnership with Cartoon Network and the famous Supa Strikas animated television series.

"Obviously, I watched a bit of Cartoon Network growing up but for me, it is a fantastic project to get involved with especially because Cartoon Network is working closely with SuperSport soccer schools and supporting young boys, giving them a great opportunity to kick-start their careers.

"For me, as the captain of SuperSport United... (and) with the launch of the Supa Strikas season six all based around AFCON time, it’s football fever, so it kind of went hand-in-hand and it is fantastic to be involved and to become an ambassador."

Furman is set to celebrate his 31st birthday on Saturday, two days before Bafana Bafana take on African giants Ivory Coast on Monday (June 24) in their opening Group D fixture.

Furman, meanwhile, also shed more light on his plans for the future.

"Coaching is definitely an avenue that I will consider by the end of my career I would like to have all my coaching badges, that is something I am going to do in the next few years.

"There are certainly many options that I am looking to consider and I'm just trying to get myself as many options as possible so that I don’t kind of focus in too hard on one thing. I want to be able to make the choice at the end of my career and not be forced into something.

"It's an important time and I will be doing courses and studying different things to add to what I have studied already when I do finish playing."

After taking on the Ivorians, Bafana Bafana will hope to get a result against neighbours Namibia on Friday, June 28.

They then round off their group stage matches with a clash against Morocco on Monday, July 1.

Bafana

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