Stellenbosch Football Club

Barker reveals excitement for derby double-header

Football 2023 Carling Knockout Final Stellenbosch Fc Media Day Lentelus Sports Ground Stellenbosch

Steve Barker has revealed his excitement ahead of this week’s derby double-header against Cape Town City and Cape Town Spurs.

Stellenbosch FC are set to travel to Cape Town on Tuesday for a DStv Premiership encounter against rivals Cape Town City, before welcoming Cape Town Spurs to the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch just four days later.

“Derbies are always very exciting to be involved in, so to have back-to-back derbies is a very exciting opportunity for us as a team,” Stellies head coach Steve Barker said.

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The first of the two Cape clashes will see the Barker’s troops take Eric Tinkler’s side at the DHL Cape Town Stadium where they will have the chance to leapfrog their rivals into second position on the log standings.

“We have a lot to play for heading into the first match against Cape Town City,” Barker added. “A victory would move us up to second position on the log so it’s a massively important game.

“It is always a tough game against City. It’s a proper derby where both teams come out to get bragging rights and they are a good quality team, hence their position on the log.

“It will be a tough game but it’s one we have traditionally done well in, although we can’t take anything for granted because every game is a new one. They will be up to get one over us so we have to be ready for them.”

Heading into the encounter, Stellenbosch will be without the services of Bafana Bafana international Jayden Adams and Ivorian defender Ismaël Touré, who both picked up suspensions during the club’s 1-1 league draw against Chippa United last Friday.

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“Ultimately, that’s what you have a squad for and it does provide other players the chance to get an opportunity,” Barker reflects.

“A player like Athenkosi Mcaba is young but already has good experience and we all know the ability he has, so he’ll get his opportunity, while in midfield, we have decent depth in the numbers and the quality we have.

“It is always a big loss when you lose players of their calibre, but it does provide opportunities for others.”

The coach also expressed his motivation to record good results against both City and Spurs in order to give the Maroon Army bragging rights but cautioned that his side would be taking things one game at a time.

“The full focus is currently on City and then once we get past that hurdle, we’ve got a couple of days to prepare for the Spurs match,” he concluded.

“Firstly, from a log table point of view, they are massive games for us to get points from and to keep us in the position we want to be in come the end of the season. From that point of view, it is massive, and we also want to give our fans something to be pleased about by giving them bragging rights.”

Kick off for Tuesday’s encounter against Cape Town City is scheduled for 19h30 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport. The weekend’s match against Cape Town Spurs, meanwhile, takes place at 17h30, and tickets are on sale from Webtickets and Pick n Pay outlets from R30.00.