Dean Furman says he has been overwhelmed by the reaction to him taking over as captain of South Africa.
The Doncaster midfielder lead Bafana Bafana to a 2-1 win against Sudan on Saturday, a victory which sealed South Africa’s qualification for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Furman, 26, was chosen by national team boss Ephraim Mashaba to captain the side following the death of former skipper Senzo Meyiwa, who was shot dead three weeks ago.
“The kind of support I’ve received personally is quite unbelievable,” said Furman.
“And, as a team, the support we have seen this week – on the training field, from the fans, in the hotel, the shopping centre and at the stadium - is incredible.”
Furman added: “Personally, it was a great honour, not in my career but my life to captain the national team.
“But I know based on [Saturday’s] performance we saw leaders all over the field.”
South Africa reached the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 2008 with victory over Sudan. They bring their Group A qualification group to an end in Nigeria tomorrow.
Furman dedicated Saturday’s win to former captain Meyiwa.
“We dedicate this victory to our good friend and captain, Senzo, who was in our minds the whole week,” he said.
“Through the adversity that has gone on, all the emotions, it has really been tough on the boys.
“We work for each other, but more than anything we are excited we are over the first hurdle. We know we have a lot of work to do ahead.”