Steve Barker glows at Stellenbosch ‘maturity’ as they enter top eight

15 February 2020 - 12:54 By Mark Gleeson
Nathan Sinkala celebrates scoring the winner for Stellenbsoch FC in their 1-0 Absa Premiership win against SuperSport United at Cape Town Stadium on Friday, February 14.
Nathan Sinkala celebrates scoring the winner for Stellenbsoch FC in their 1-0 Absa Premiership win against SuperSport United at Cape Town Stadium on Friday, February 14.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker praised a growing maturity in his squad as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) new boys dispatched SuperSport United on Friday to move into the top eight against all expectations.

Nathan Sinkala scored on his league debut to emphasise the coup Stellenbosch pulled off when they signed the Zambian international last month. Barker said the display was proof that the club was quickly improving its prospects as they marked a fifth win in their last eight outings.

“One can see the signs of the team developing and growing into a solid football team. That is our target,” said the coach after the 1-0 victory at the Cape Town Stadium marked a third successive home victory and saw them move up to seventh place with 27 points.

“If we just keep on doing the things that we are doing, the log table will take care of itself.

“The form is there, and it is now a question of not getting ahead of ourselves and understanding that we are still a new club in the league; respect the league and keep doing our work every day so that we become better.

“Right at the beginning of the season I was asked what our target was. People can sometimes get carried away and say they want to win the league, or get into the top eight, but when I had my chance to calm people down I said our first target must be to get to 33 points.

“I said, ‘The quicker we get there, or once we get there and we have games in hand, we can reassess and then hopefully aim for a bit higher than that’.

“That still remains our main focus — to get to 33 points. I feel that will be significant to avoid relegation and then if we still have four, five games left, maybe then we can play with a little more freedom and enjoy our football a little more than perhaps the pressure of staying in the league.”

Stellenbosch now have eight games to play, five of them at home and three away.


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