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Barker Out To Put Out The Fight For Second Spot

  • May 7, 2024
  • 2 min read
Barker Out To Put Out The Fight For Second Spot

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker expresses his young team’s desire to test themselves against the best in Africa by competing in the CAF Champions League next season.

Barker’s side currently holds second place in the DStv Premiership table with 46 points after 26 matches. This position puts them three points ahead of third-placed Orlando Pirates.

Hosting AmaZulu at Danie Craven Stadium on Wednesday (19:30), Stellenbosch aims to solidify their second-place position. A win would mathematically make things difficult for Orlando Pirates from contention for the runner-up spot, having been beaten twice in the league this season by Barker’s side.

“It (the fight for secon spot) will go all the way down to the wire, but we would like to test ourselves and play Champions League,” said Barker.  

The former AmaZulu coach has emphasizes a positive attitude ahead of Usuthu calsh.

Stellies come to this game having lost 2-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semifinals on Sunday. However, Barker maintains his team’s competitiveness. “We shouldn’t be discouraged by one loss to a strong team,” Barker insisted. “It’s important to remember that we’re very competitive.”

He opted to rest first-choice goalkeeper Sage Stephens in favor of Puskas Award nominee Oscarine Masuluke for the Nedbank Cup clash. Stellenbosch’s upcoming league fixtures influenced this decision, according to Barker.

“We have four crucial games coming up. We play AmaZulu on Wednesday, and goalkeepers sometimes need a break to stay sharp and fresh for the next four matches,” Barker explained.

Barker acknowledges the challenge AmaZulu, who are chasing a top-eight finish, presents. He emphasizes the importance of a positive approach. “It’s another test for us; we need to react positively,” Barker said. “Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, we’ve had a good season. We’re still in contention for the top three and have already won a cup and reached two semifinals.”

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Samkelo Biyela

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