Furman relishing Everton clash
Oldham star Dean Furman cannot wait to be part of a giantkilling attempt when Everton arrive at Boundary Park for their FA Cup fifth-round tie.
Last Updated: 16/02/13 11:18am
While the League One side were knocking Liverpool out of the competition in front of a stunned television audience, the 24-year-old was delighting 45,000 fans for his country in the African Nations Cup they were hosting.
The South African returned to the dressing room after helping his nation qualify for the quarter finals against Morocco to find the Latics had recorded a 3-2 win over the five-time European champions.
Having missed a penalty in the shoot-out defeat to Mali in the next round as the hosts departed, he returned to domestic action in the win over MK Dons on Saturday and an appearance against the Toffees would cap a whirlwind start to 2013 for the midfielder.
"The whole Cup of Nations experience was incredible, it was a dream for me really," Furman said.
"To go back to my country and play in front of packed crowds of 50,000 with the majority wearing yellow was something that will live with me for a long time.
"But one of the highlights for me was coming in after we'd beaten Morocco to reach the quarter-finals and finding out the boys at home had beaten Liverpool. That was an incredible moment.
"The game kicked off just before we played so I couldn't see it live, but that night I watched it and made sure the highlights were on repeat.
"It was amazing and it was great to have South African fans coming up to me and saying how well the boys did, and it was great to hear how pleased everyone was for Oldham in South Africa.
"To come back now and to have the opportunity to play against Everton in the fifth round of the FA Cup will be a massive day for a club like us."
That Everton squad is likely to include Furman's countryman Steven Pienaar, who retired from Bafana Bafana duty last year after more than 10 years' service and two World Cups.
And the former Bradford man is relishing the chance to take the same field as his countryman, having never crossed paths on the international stage with the ex-Spurs midfielder.
"It'll be great if I get the chance to play against Steven," Furman said.
"One of the big disappointments for me is that I haven't worked with him in the international squad.
"I was gutted I never got to play with him for my country but I am looking forward to hopefully coming up against him on Saturday.
"I watch him week in, week out on Match of the Day and in live games, he is having an outstanding season and is a top player."
Ever since overcoming Kidderminster in the first round of the FA Cup, the Latics have shrugged off their underdog status to knock out League One promotion hopefuls Doncaster and Championship side Nottingham Forest before the memorable cup upset against Brendan Rodgers' men.
And Furman knows they will have to make things difficult for the visitors if they are going to defy their pre-match odds of 10/1 against the Toffees.
"Even in the Doncaster game we probably weren't favourites and against Forest and Liverpool people expected us to be beaten," he said.
"We are on our home patch and we want to go out there and make it as uncomfortable for the great players that they have right from the first whistle.
"We have got this far and we want to keep going. Why can't we win the game? We will make it difficult for them and hopefully we can be a giant-killer once more on Saturday."