March 2, 2021

A double over Orlando Pirates will be massive achievement for Stellenbosch FC – Barker

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The experienced tactician has fired a warning to the Buccaneers, who have won their last two matches

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker is keen to mastermind another win over Orlando Pirates on Saturday. 

The two teams are set to wrap up their 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaigns at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

Stellies secured an impressive 1-0 win over the Buccaneers in the reverse fixture in October last year at Cape Town Stadium.

They will face a Pirates side which is hoping to finish in the top three as they are currently placed fourth on the league standings – a point behind third-placed SuperSport United.

“To do a double over Orlando Pirates will be a massive achievement for us,” said Barker on Daily Sun

“We also have a chance to finish in the top eight and we don’t want to regret but we want to go there and put up a good performance.

“We are going out guns blazing. We don’t have pressure, we can now play with freedom and we want to reward ourselves for this game.”

Stellies have caught the eye in their debut season in the top-flight league and they could qualify for next season’s MTN8.

They are placed 10th on the league standings – two points behind eighth-placed Highlands Park, who will face AmaZulu FC on Saturday.

Stellenbosch played their home matches at either Athlone Stadium or the Cape Town Stadium this season. 

This was because their preferred venue, Idas Valley Stadium was deemed inadequate for the league’s standards by the PSL.

The Western Cape side used the venue when they won promotion to the elite league from the National First Division (NFD) last season.

However, Danie Craven Stadium in the Stellenbosch University campus was refurbished and it is ready to host PSL games.

Barker, who has coached AmaZulu and the University of Pretoria in the PSL, explained that they are looking forward to playing in the campus next season.

“We have upgraded Danie Craven Stadium at the University of Stellenbosch and we’ll be using that as a home venue next season,” said Barker.

“It made extra tough for us as we started this league with seven games away and that was a tough period but we did come through it.

“We are looking forward to our home stadium next season, making it a tough environment for the opposition teams to come through.”