Surman rejects chance to play for South Africa

The 26-year-old Norwich midfielder has turned down the opportunity to play for the country of his birth, citing his young family and the amount of travelling involved as a reason

Norwich City midfielder Andew Surman has turned down an offer to play for South Africa at international level.

Surman was born in Johannesburg to British parents but moved back to England at the age of nine, a year before he joined Southampton's youth academy.

Bafana Bafana representatives recently contacted the former England Under-21 player to gauge his interest in switching allegiances ahead of their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, but he has rejected their overtures for family reasons.

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“I was approached to see if I was interested, but the club is my focus and I’ve got a young family, a three-year-old and a one-year-old,” he told reporters.

“I think it would be a lot, especially with the African Nations Cup, to be travelling around the world. I was approached and I haven’t ruled it out but it’s just at this moment in time I don’t think it’s something I need in my life, though it was a great honour to be approached.

“It’s something that needs to be put on the back burner a little bit, we’ve had a new manager coming in as well and I need to concentrate fully on my club football.”

Surman agreed a new deal at Carrow Road over the summer and has expressed his happiness with life under new Canaries boss Chris Hughton.

“It’s been pretty easy to adapt,” he continued.

“We have quite a lot of the players from last season anyway and there are not that many formations you can change. Everyone has played 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 4-5-1, so whatever the manager comes in and does, we can slot in.

“He has freshened it up as well. It was disappointing to see the previous manager go, but he’s come in and put his mark on things and stamped his authority and he’s got the full respect of the players. The players he had here the last three years are a credit to the football club.”