Carlisle United are delighted to confirm that South African international midfielder Dean Furman has joined the club until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Furman, 32, moved across to England from his native country at the tender age of five and was snapped up by Chelsea when he was scouted by the London giants when he was just nine-years-old.
He blossomed as he worked his way through the age groups with The Blues and coach and mentor Brendan Rodgers looked to harness the potential when he sent the teenage Furman up to Celtic for a trial spell when the combative midfielder was still just 18.
A twist in the tale saw Rangers pounce, and a deal was struck which kept him at Ibrox for the following three seasons.
Having made his debut at the end of 2007/08 campaign at home to Dundee United, he went on a season-long loan to Bradford where he scored four goals in 33 appearances for the Bantams.
Four years in Oldham followed, where he became a regular first team starter and a popular member of the squad, both in the dressing room and with the fans. His strike against Notts County in August 2010 was that season’s Goal of the Year.
He made over 150 appearances for the Latics, and a loan spell with Doncaster in March 2013 led to a permanent move the following summer.
80 appearances with the Keepmoat outfit preceded a move to South Africa, where he spent five successful silverware-laden seasons with Premier League side SuperSport United.
Internationally he made his debut for his country against Brazil and has now amassed 56 caps for the fantastically nicknamed Bafana Bafana [The Boys, The Boys or Go Boys].
Moving back to England just as the lockdown struck, he has spent the last week on trial with United prior to accepting his new deal.
Manager Chris Beech said: “This one could work out to be an excellent signing for us, and I’m delighted we’ve managed to do it.
“I was aware of Dean when he moved to Oldham from Rangers years ago. As a young player he made a real impact and subsequently moved into the Championship with Doncaster.
“He’s such an intelligent footballer, with the ability to dictate a game - his retain and regain of the ball is exceptional and he adds leadership and maturity into that area of the pitch, when it’s needed.
“Dean will one hundred percent help to improve our other midfield players through the application of his work, and that’s a huge plus for me. We’ve got some real talent in the building and I’m excited to see that progress.”
“He’s been playing his football in South Africa but had a desire to come back to the UK to raise his family,” he added. “Whilst there were lucrative offers for him on the table to go abroad again, he’s foregone that to buy into our journey, and he’s another that wants to be successful.
“Dean’s on the older side of players we’ve recruited this summer at 32, with it typically being the young energy we’ve gone for, but nevertheless he’s one that’s in fantastic shape, super fit, and usually tops the stats in terms of distances covered in training, game retains and regains during the time he’s been with us.
“He’s a great pro with a great attitude, and I’m looking forward to him making us even better.”