Stellenbosch Football Club

Rhoda: Our focus is getting maximum points against Pirates

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Having overcome tough conditions to defeat AmaZulu last weekend, Stellenbosch FC reserves assistant coach Jason Rhoda is optimistic about the upcoming trip to Johannesburg to face Orlando Pirates.

It was more than just a strong opponent that Stellies’ reserve team had to face this past weekend as battering winds and rain in Stellenbosch meant the Maroons had to put up a big fight to secure a victory against AmaZulu, winning 3-2 thanks to goals from¬†Simthandile Sishi, Tylon Smith, and Ethan Felix.

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Assistant coach, Jason Rhoda shared his thoughts on this fixture, saying, “It was a very tough encounter.

“There were a lot of unfortunate external factors, one of them being the wind, which was quite challenging on the day. But it was just one of those games that we just had to get the win, luckily we managed to pull through.”

Stellies’ first team was also in action later in the day, featuring numerous DDC graduates, and Rhoda credited first-team coaches Steve Barker and Wesley Sergel for helping create a fantastic synergy between the two teams.

“They are always embracing this synergy. It gives us immense pride to see some of these young boys that we recruit spend 12 or so months in the Diski team and then get promoted to the PSL side.”

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This was once again reflected last month when the captain of the club’s Diski team, Shaakhir Ahmed, made his debut for the senior team in a DStv Premiership match against Royal AM, and was yet again in the squad that took on Sekhukhune United.

Ahmed will be hoping to lead the reserves in action again when the team travels to Johannesburg to face Orlando Pirates at an Asidlali festival on Sunday. The clash is set to kick off at 10h00 at Solomon Mahlangu Stadium.

“This weekend is a massive, massive game for us,” Rhoda concludes.

“The fact that the game is at a festival does not make it harder or easier but playing at a neutral venue for us both is helpful. Orlando Pirates have slipped up a bit lately but we do not want to focus on the opponents too much, for us the focus is on ourselves.

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“We’ll be going there trying to get maximum points from the game. Being a festival, South Africa will be watching on television as well so it’s such a big game for our boys.”