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Barker Optimistic On Stellies Chase For Champions League Spot  

  • May 19, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Barker Optimistic On Stellies Chase For Champions League Spot  

Despite a 1-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday at Athlone Stadium, Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker remains optimistic about securing CAF Champions League qualification for next season.

This loss marked Stellenbosch’s first consecutive league defeats since August 2023.

The setback offered a missed opportunity to solidify their Champions League spot, but a lifeline emerged as Orlando Pirates, their closest competitor, also lost 1-0 away to TS Galaxy on the same day.

“Still in second position with one match to go. You know if you said to me in the beginning of the season that we would go into the last match with an opportunity to finish second I wouldn’t have believed you,” Barker acknowledged. 

“We have it, it’s our responsibility now to make sure next week we get the job done.”  

Barker emphasized the importance of taking responsibility, recognizing that relying on other teams’ results is unsustainable.

“We won’t get another one [lifeline], next week we have to do the job,” said Barker while laughing. 

“We can’t rely on anyone else next week except ourselves. A big battle, Richards Bay (away) will be fighting for their lives, and we will be fighting for what we want to achieve, so we look forward… one final game that we really need to go and win.”  

Stellenbosch currently sits second in the DStv Premiership standings with 50 points, one point ahead of Pirates in third. Both teams have one game remaining in the season.

Stellenbosch will travel to Durban to face 15th-placed Richards Bay, aiming to avoid the promotion/relegation playoff if Royal AM loses their match against Mofroka Swallows. Meanwhile, Pirates will host SuperSport United at Orlando Stadium.

Picture courtesy of Stellenbosch

Article by Trevor Magoro

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