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July 6, 2020 4:24 pm

‘I Would Love to See More Jewish Players,’ South African Soccer Star Dean Furman Says

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Dean Furman of South Africa (L) challenges Ghana’s Christian Atsu during a Group C soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations, in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea, Jan. 27, 2015. Photo: Reuters / Mike Hutchings.

South African soccer star Dean Furman hopes to inspire fellow Jews to take up the sport.

The 32-year-old midfielder — who is seeking to make a comeback in England after five years with SuperSport United in his native country — told The Guardian in an interview published on Monday, “We’re few and far between. I would love to see more Jewish players.”

“To become a pro, sacrifice is key,” he added. “If there was a bar mitzvah party on a Saturday night, I’d leave at 10.”

“Maybe there aren’t many sporting role models from the community,” Furman pointed out. “I hope parents and young Jewish players are looking up to me, Joe Jacobson and Nicky Blackman. There is more security in other jobs. Is it a safe career path? Not particularly. But if your dream is to become a footballer you should be encouraged to follow it.”

In an interview with The Algemeiner last year following South Africa’s upset victory over host Egypt in the African Cup of Nations tournament, Furman commented, “To young Jewish footballers, I want to say that it is possible. There aren’t too many of us, but the dream of being a professional is definitely achievable.”

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