Stellenbosch FC’s 2023 EKOC Regional Western Cape Tournament campaign will officially start on the 28th of July, with the Maroons drawn in Group D.
Stellenbosch FC achieved a second-place finish in the 2022 edition of the EKOC after overcoming a host of tough matches during the group stage to reach the final of the competition.
This year, the team has been drawn alongside FN Rangers, Hanover Park, and Ubuntu FC, and head coach Jean-Pierre Farrugia is cautiously optimistic that his team is even stronger and better prepared this time around.
“When I was at the draw I was a bit anxious that names didn’t come out of the hat that we needed and when they subsequently came out the end many people started saying ‘Group D is the Group of Death’ and they’re probably not wrong,” Farrugia said.
“We have to respect that FN Rangers has a good youth program and Hanover Park is doing well in their league and we know the strength of Ubuntu. We back ourselves but it is not going to be a walk in the park.
“We’re kind of going in with the belief that maybe last year, when we didn’t know the teams, we went in a little bit too casually but I’m hoping this year the players see those teams and names and think ‘ok, it’s a tough start from the beginning’ and then we have to act accordingly.
“So we can’t afford to ease into this competition, we have to start really, really well because we could lose out in the end.
It will be fantastic to get there (the final), as a coach you always play a cautious game but realistically from last year I feel a lot more confident about the team, and I really want to believe we can get to that point, the final that is. I think we actually have a stronger team to be able to do it and certain key positions we were able to strengthen.”
Top row (from left to right): Hilda du Toit (Data Analyst) Prince Amponsah, Joshua Bailey, Josh Gerber, Zach Musikanth, Justin van Wyk, Vuyolwethu Andreas, Prince Nyengane, Azasakhe Luthango, Xavier Slinger, Langelihle Phili, Tylon Smith, Karabo Makhanya (Strength and Conditioning Coach)
Bottom row (from left to right): Neatan Amos, Tyler Cicero, Jean Topley, Daylin Meyer, Jean-Pierre Farrugia (Head Coach), Liam Slade (Captain), Morne Crumpton (Team Manager), Keenan Johannesen, Quwan Plaatjies, Keanu Toutie, Connor de Vries
- SFC vs Hanover Park, 28 July at 11:10
- SFC vs Ubuntu, 28 July at 17:00
- SFC vs FN Rangers, 29 July at 13:00