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Barker Incredibly Proud Of Stellies Season Despite The Loss

  • May 26, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Barker Incredibly Proud Of Stellies Season Despite The Loss

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker expressed disappointment after his team narrowly missed out on a second-place finish in the DStv Premiership.

A loss to Richards Bay on Saturday saw them overtaken by Orlando Pirates on goal difference, with both teams finishing on 50 points after 30 matches.

Despite the final-day defeat, Barker acknowledged the incredible season Stellenbosch had achieved. They reached the semifinals of two cup competitions and secured their first-ever trophy, the Carling Knockout, in December 2023.

“We tried our best and it was not to be,” Barker reflected on the loss to Bay. 

“It’s not going to take away from the fantastic season we have had having reached two semifinals – one maiden trophy as well as qualifying for Africa. But it was one goal 1-0 shot (to get a draw and finish second). 

The tight race for second place came down to goal difference, with Pirates edging Stellenbosch for the coveted Champions League spot. “At the end of the day to be equal with a team like Pirates with points (is remarkable), we were just fell to a goal difference,” Barker remarked. “So, it was very disappointing obviously because we wanted to finish in second position.”  

While Stellenbosch secured a continental spot, Richards Bay’s win wasn’t enough to escape the relegation zone. Royal AM’s victory over Moroka Swallows condemned them to the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Barker believes Richards Bay can retain their top-flight status if they replicate their fighting spirit.

“Congratulation to Richards Bay and they really fought for points and unfortunately both teams ended up being disappointed,” said Barker. 

“But if they can put the same fight they showed, I believe that they can come through the playoffs and remain in the Premiership.”

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