Latics pay up for Furman

Reporter: Tony Bugby
Date published: 30 June 2009

ATHLETIC have been forced to splash the cash to capture highly-rated South African midfield man Dean Furman.

Boundary Park officials have had to pay an undisclosed compensation package - in stages it is believed to total £50,000 - to Glasgow Rangers for the talented 21-year-old.

Furman, who spent last season on loan at Bradford City, has signed a three-year contract and, according to Bantams manager Stuart McCall, it is money well spent.

McCall said: “Dean has a great future in the game because of both his attitude and his ability.

“He wanted to play at a higher level and has gone there (to Oldham) for genuine footballing reasons and not for bundles of money.

“League One is a good division and Dean wants to challenge himself against good players.

“Oldham are building a good squad and I have told Dave Penney they have got themselves a good one there.”

Penney is delighted to have captured Furman, declaring: “I saw a lot of Dean last season as Darlington, who I managed, were in the same division as Bradford.

“He did very well for them, he is a good age and he comes with a great pedigree having played at Chelsea and Rangers.

“We have good competition in the centre of midfield with Dean joining Jon Worthington, Danny Whitaker and Dale Stephens.”

Furman, who is on the fringe of South Africa’s World Cup squad, was born in Cape Town but lived most of his life over here.

He was at Chelsea between the ages of nine and 18 years before spending the last three seasons at Glasgow Rangers, who offered him a new deal to replace the one which has just ended.

However, Furman, who made one first-team appearance for the Gers in the Scottish Premier League, said: “I was offered a new contract, but didn’t think I was going to get as much football as I would have liked.

“I felt it was time to move on because I enjoyed getting regular football at Bradford last season and I am keen to keep progressing.”

Furman, who played 33 games for Bradford last season, scoring four goals, admitted Athletic beat off intense competition for his signature, revealing there was interest from clubs in the Coca-Cola Championship and League One.

“Oldham were the club which showed most interest and I got a good feeling about the place,” he said.

LEE HUGHES and Will Haining are two familiar faces on the training ground as Athletic begin the countdown to the new campaign.

Hughes (33) has asked Athletic if he can train with them until he gets fixed up with a new club. Hughes, who turned down a lucrative deal at Doncaster in January, was loaned to Blackpool towards the end of the season when he was told by caretaker manager Joe Royle that he did not feature in his plans.

Haining is also looking for a club after moving back to England following two seasons playing in the Scottish Premier League for St Mirren.

Haining (26) had almost nine years at Boundary Park.