Stellies dare to dream in race for top 3

Premiership

Stellenbosch FC are daring to dream in the race to secure a top-three finish in the DStv Premiership this season.

Having narrowly avoided relegation from the DStv Premiership last season, Stellenbosch FC have defied the odds during the 2021/22 campaign and head into the final round of fixtures having already secured a place in next season's MTN 8 competition. 

The Cape-based outfit currently sit in fifth position in the league standings after recording a club-record 44 points for the campaign and could still, mathematically, qualify for next season's CAF Confederation Cup by ending third in the division. 

Stellies are currently just two points behind Royal AM and Kaizer Chiefs, who occupy third and fourth on the log, respectively, and could pip the pair to continental qualification if they beat Cape Town City this weekend and results go their way elsewhere.

Royal AM have a game in hand but faces Orlando Pirates and champions Mamelodi Sundowns in their final two fixtures, while Chiefs have a tricky outing against relegation-threatened Swallows FC as their final outing for the season. 

Pirates, who are seventh on 40 points, could also leapfrog all three teams as they have three matches in hand but must contend with a heavy fixture list that has been compounded by the club reaching this season's Confederation Cup final, which takes place this Friday.

"I would be lying if I didn’t say that deep in my heart, I know all the scenarios and possibilities that getting to 47 points can mean for the club," Stellies coach Steve Barker told Kick Off on Tuesday.

"A lot of other results need to go our way for us to get as high as that but it’s not impossible and there are tricky fixtures for everybody. It would still leave Orlando Pirates with games in hand, but it will also be tricky for them after the final to have played that many games in a week.

"So, I just think that we have to focus on the game and not worry too much about that but still know that three points really does open up that possibility. Imagine if that could happen."

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