Stellies to use Downs win as springboard for Cape derby


Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker hopes to use last weekend's win over Mamelodi Sundowns as a springboard ahead of the club's season finale against Cape Town City.

High-flying Stellenbosch FC will bring a successful 2021/22 DStv Premiership campaign to an end on Saturday afternoon when the club plays host to local rivals Cape Town City at the Danie Craven Stadium.

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Stellies currently occupy fifth position in the domestic league standings and could mathematically climb as high as third with a win over the Citizens, provided results elsewhere go their way.

Steve Barker's side also head into the weekend's encounter on the back of a historic 3-0 win over champions Mamelodi Sundowns which the 54-year-old is hoping to use as a springboard towards further success.

"I think [the win over Sundowns] does indicate that [the club is moving in the right direction]," Barker told Kick Off ahead of Stellenbosch's award ceremony on Tuesday.

"We have played against Sundowns on a number of occasions, and the majority of the time we've given them a good run for their money. We've maybe even been a little bit unlucky not to get more out of certain games, but they did us a good footballing lesson when they beat us 3-0 [a few seasons ago].

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"We've always felt that we're a club that also wants to eventually be challenging the teams like Sundowns on a regular basis. We don't want to be beating them once-off, we want to close the gap over a 30-game season.

"Getting a result like we did over the weekend shows that we are hopefully headed in the right direction. But one win doesn’t make summer. It’s important to be able to do this on a more regular basis.

"I thought it was a really good performance and tactically the players executed the game plan really well. We were clinical, we only had four shots on target of which three were goals. We've got to take that win and be confident in the belief that we can continue like this.

"...One of the key things that I am trying to embed on our players, on our team and on our club is consistency," Barker added.  "To be able to follow up a great win against Sundowns with another big performance and hopefully a positive, three-point result against Cape Town City would show that consistency.

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"If we do get a positive result, we will probably finish in the top two or three of Q4, having also finished in the top spots in Q1, it will show that we have had that consistency over the course of the season."

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