Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker dedicated the win over Richards Bay to reach the Carling Knockout Cup final to his late uncle Clive Barker and his former player Oswin Andries, who both passed away this year.
Andries, who was a towering midfielder, passed away in February after he was stabbed multiple times and died in the arms of his mother in hospital.
Coach Clive Barker, who led Bafans Bafana to the sole Africa Cup of Nations title in 1996, passed away on 10 June after a brave battle with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). He also spearheaded the country’s first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in France in 1998.
Steve Barker’s side overwhelmed a poorly looking Richards Bay with ease by winning 3-0 in the semi final at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday via goals by Devin Titus, Anicet Oura and Antonio Van Wyk – with all coming in the second half.
Stellies will now meet the winner between AmaZulu against TS Galaxy in the final, who are playing at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday afternoon, at the Durban 2010 World Cup venue on 16 December.
“Right at the beginning of the year, we lost one of our soldiers – Oswin Andries, I lost my uncle Clive,” said Barker after the game.
“I dedicate going to the final to both Oswin and Clive. Hopefully I can come back (here in Durban), having grew up in Durban as a youngster, in two weeks time and do them proud and do our club proud and go all the way and win the final.
“So getting the final is one thing, now the next objective is to win the final.”
To conest a final will be Barker’s second in his coaching career, having lost the Nedbank Cup with University of Pretoria 14 years ago against Moroka Swallows. It was also third time lucky for Stellies, as they have lost in three semi finals this year – the Nedbank Cup last season and the MTN8 this term.
It was not easy route for Stellies to reach to the venue in uMlazi due to huge traffic and Barker’s side were stuck for a number of time. It was made worse due to lights off and robots not working due to loadshedding, which government is struggling to get the grips on.
Having to arrive at the venue late after the ID cards were checked, it is why Stellies were late to get into the game, with their goals coming in the second half, admitted Barker.
“The first half we were totally not at our best,” said Barker.
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“A little bit of nervousness, cagey affair semi final. We have been in two finals and we didn’t get to the final, so I thought we quite look nervous and couple of passes not sticking. But at the same time they (Bay) didn’t cause us really problems either in the first half. In the second half, once we got the first goal, it opened the game up a bit.
“Richards Bay had to come out, nothing to lose, they throw numbers forward and we were threatenig on the transition. Credit to the players because they deserve it, they worked hard everyday.”