Rookies Stellenbosch happy with first outing of the season

05 August 2019 - 17:02 By Mark Gleeson
Stellenbosch FC during the Absa Premiership match between Chippa United and Stellenbosch FC at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Stellenbosch FC during the Absa Premiership match between Chippa United and Stellenbosch FC at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

New boys Stellenbosch got a wake up call in their opening match of the season but coach Steve Barker could not have been happier with a point in their maiden game in the top-flight at the weekend.

Stellenbosch‚ who switched home venues with Chippa United because they are without a stadium‚ went to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and came away with a first-ever Absa Premiership point after holding out for a goalless draw with the Port Elizabeth-based outfit.

“Considering the game‚ we were a bit lucky to get a point.

"To be fair‚ Chippa were dominant in both halves‚” said Barker as he reflected on Saturday’s outcome.

“I thought we started the first 20 minutes well.

"There wasn’t really a huge difference between the two teams but then before half-time they started controlling the game‚ finding spaces and putting us on the back foot.

“Then‚ in the second half they were similarly on top of us.

“So‚ yes‚ it was a big wake up call for us but one has to look at the players and the commitment they have shown‚ the attitude‚ the fight‚ the work rate‚ not to lose.”


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Barker says it shows his side are going to prove competitive even if they are rookies and might have looked overwhelmed at times.

“So there is no doubt we will be a team that will be hard to beat but there are areas that we need to work on.

“We gave the ball away too often and gave them too much space in key areas.

“But overall if you told me before the game I’d keep a clean sheet away from home‚ get a point to kick start the campaign‚ I would have been happy with that. Overall‚ I was pleased with the result.”

“I think now my players realise what this league is all about and to keep a clean sheet definitely has to give us confidence but it must also give us a realisation that it is a tough league because we cannot play‚ holding on like we did‚ every week.

"That make it be a very long 30-match season‚” he added.

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