Stellenbosch FC head coach Steve Barker has revealed a plan that the club came up with one and a half years ago to challenge for trophies.
The Winelands side has been a long-standing dark horse in the top-flight. They have reached their first cup final since securing DStv Premiership promotion in 2019.
They will set their sights on lifting the first trophy when they battle with TS Galaxy in the Carling Knockout Cup on 16 December at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
In the last two cup competitions, they were only knocked out in the semi-finals. They were overcome by Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 two months ago while they lost to Sekhukhune United in the Nedbank Cup last season.
Stellies ended their 2021/22 season in the fourth position while in the last campaign, they finished in seventh place.
Barker says that 18 months ago, the club made a decision to try and tie down their graduates to long-term contracts. This was after the reserve side won the DDC and Premier League Next Generation Cup last year.
Barker believes they will benefit from the cohesion of this “core group of players”. Stellenbosch recently announced that Jayden Adams, Devin Titus and Kyle Jurgens had committed their futures to the club after penning long-term contracts.
STEVE BARKER SAYS THE TEAM THAT WON DDC WILL HELP STELLIES CHALLENGE FOR TROPHIES
“I think our club, maybe 18 months ago, we sat and we said there’s a core group of players that we have to keep together if the club wants to be successful if the club wants to win trophies and want to compete at the top end of the table,” said Barker.
“You know those are players like Jayden Adams and Devin Titus. So, hopefully, they are committed to the club and want to be here for long-term as they showed by signing long-term contracts.
“And you know if we show we can win trophies if we show we can compete at the top end of the table, then there’s no reason for the players wanting to leave.
“Why would you want to go a bigger club that’s maybe not challenging and winning things?
“So, hopefully by being successful and doing what we are doing and those players, this is where they will be and wanna be. So, it’s important that we keep our core players that have come through the ranks, DDC won it and Next Gen Tournament [Premier League Next Generation Cup].
“People like Mervin Boji, Devin Titus, Kyle Jurgens, Jayden Adams and Antonio Van Wyk. So, the plan is to have that core group of players to be with us for years to come, which in my opinion will allow us to challenge for trophies.”